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FIFA 11+ The Gold Standard in Soccer Injury Prevention

April 14, 2020

FIFA 11 is a soccer-specific injury prevention program developed by FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC). The warm-up program has been subject to multiple studies of its efficacy and is proven to reduce injuries in male and female amateur soccer players. Compliance with the program is pivotal in its success and should be adhered to twice weekly. Athletes who performed the 11+ program had an overall reduction in injury by an impressive 34%. Knee injuries were reduced by 45%, ankle injury rates plummeted by 27% and overuse injuries had a drop of 55% when compared to a control group who warmed up conventionally. The program’s key elements focus on the main target areas in soccer injury prevention; Core training, neuromuscular control and balance, eccentric hamstring exercise, plyometrics and agility.

The core consists of the stabilising trunk and pelvic muscles. Its strength is key to injury prevention, more specifically lower limb injuries, especially the knee. Core exercise involved planking and side planking with progressions such as leg lifts.

Neuromuscular Control is achieved through a complex communicative system of eccentric muscle activation (Where the muscle is contracted and lengthened), coordination, stability, posture, balance and the anticipatory capacity of the muscle. Neuromuscular training is especially beneficial in knee and ankle injury prevention. Single leg stance, strengthening such as squatting (and single leg squats) and walking lunges. Hamstring-specific neuromuscular control is enhanced by Nordic hamstring curls.

Plyometrics are defined as exercises that allow muscle to reach maximum strength in as short a time as possible. Eccentric contraction (muscle lengthening) is quickly followed by concentric contraction (muscle shortening) in soccer and exercises that are geared specifically towards equipping athletes to cope with these rapid changes in muscle demands. Plyometrics train functional movement patterns in a biomechanically sound manner, when integrated with agility training, they significantly reduce ankle and knee injury incidence, specifically ACL injury. Basic plyometrics involve vertical jumping and lateral jumping. Progressions of the 11+ incorporate box jumps and side-stepping drills using ladders, hurdles etc.

FIFA 11+ is specifically designed for soccer players and management to be easily integrated into traditional training methods as asuccinct but effective player welfare initiative.

FIFA 11+ can be accessed here.

If you have any questions please call our Dublin city centre clinic on 01 441 0100.