Our Soccer season is upon us! Most of you would have started training now, and I wanted to share an injury prevention program that I use with my soccer team. The FIFA 11+ is a program developed by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) for injury prevention in soccer players (above 14 years old). It is designed to be a warm up program prior to the game, and the exercises are designed to build strength and control in the legs and core through movements that are relevant to soccer. It is simple to administer and does not take long to complete (20 mins total). The FIFA 11+ has been shown to reduce the rate of injury in soccer players and this has been backed up by research. There is a lot of emphasis on getting good control and alignment while doing the warm up which improves neuromuscular control and flexibility. It is especially important to work on the alignment of the knee over the middle toes during bending movements to protect from ACL ( Anterior cruciate ligament) injuries. There is a manual which you can download (and I highly recommend you read through the manual first) which shows you in detail how to do each exercise. With my team we also like to add to our warm up:
Walk lunges (for dynamic quads stretching)
Sideways running (for dynamic groin stretching)
Grapevine (for ITB stretching)
Varying speed running
Don’t forget static stretches are best left for the warm down. I have attached the link to the FIFA website for your reference, but do speak to your Physiotherapist before using the warm up program if you have had injuries or are still suffering from an injury. Some of the exercises may need to be modified for you or you may need to add on specific exercises. If you have an existing injury and it’s stopping you from playing your best at soccer, make an appointment with a Physiotherapist such as myself to get it sorted out quickly!