Everyone’s heard you should get a little loose and do some slow exercises before you start the real stuff. But investigators in Norway went way beyond stretching and showed a significant decrease in injuries in teenage, female soccer players (pdf file) by doing so. They were concerned there were too many injuries in these young athletes and decided to try a rigid, 20-minute exercise program prior to practices and games, called the 11 Injury Prevention Program.
The exercises–specific running, jumping and stretching activities–attempt to build core stability, strength and balance. Compliance was improved by providing coaches with DVDs, posters, exercise cards and telephone feedback. The control group just warmed up in their usual manner.
At the end of the season there were one-third fewer overall injuries in the 11 Injury Prevention Program and one-half fewer severe injuries, defined as those that kept a player out for over 28 days.
Females have about as many overall soccer injuries as males, but three to five times more anterior cruciate ligament tears which are serious knee injuries. The Program decreased those also.
What do you think?
Tags: exercise safety