All sports have a risk of injury. In general, the more contact in a sport, the greater the risk of a traumatic injury. However, most injuries are due to overuse. You need to make sure that you're taking care of your body, getting proper recovery and maintaining a good diet to keep yourself healthy. Below are some articles on strength exercises, stretching and warm-ups that can help you with injury prevention. For more on nutrition, visit our nutrition section.
Every year, close to 400,000 people will suffer from a torn ACL, with an estimated $2 Billion price tag, with the high price tag not even including long term care. While some of these injuries occur during a collision, many are of the non-contact variety. They will typically occur during a rapid deceleration, change of direction, or landing, without the presence of player-to-player contact. Female athletes are particularly at risk because of anatomical differences from male athletes. Females are six times more likely to suffer from an ACL injury than their male counterparts. The good news is, there have been many advances in training programs to help reduce the risk of injury.
There are many risk factors involved with head trauma, but Neck Strength is the only risk factor that can be modified. Concussed athletes had a smaller neck circumference and less overall strength. In untrained youth, the odds of a concussion dropped 5% for every pound of neck strength. In March of 2014, the American Journal of Sports Medicine published an article showing that greater neck strength and anticipatory cervical muscle activation can reduce the magnitude of the kinematic response. So while we may never be able to fully prevent a concussion, we can develop the muscles around the neck to reduce the risk.
There is no risk in developing the muscles around the neck to support the head. So worst case scenario there is no harm done, and best case scenario, the athlete is better prepared for the sudden jolts that can cause a brain injury. This video will teach you how to strengthen the muscles in the front and back of the neck.
Try this quick and easy total body workout to get toned all over by strengthening your arms, lower body and core muscles. Soccer players need to have strength to prevent injury and to be stronger and faster on the field than their opponents.
Static stretching has long been a part of the pre-match or pre-practice ritual. However, a study by Kieran O'Sullivan, Sean McAulliffe, and Gregory Lehman published in the Aspetar Sports Medicine Journal in 2014 suggests that should no longer be the case. Their study showed that static stretching may diminish short term performance and has little effect on injury prevention. Static stretching does help increase flexibility but a proper strength training program will also help in that area.
Many soccer teams have already embraced this change and now rely solely on dynamic warm-ups to prepare for practice or games. Check out the infographic
Learn how to train like the pros and prevent yourself from injury from the expert who works with these athletes on a daily basis. In this video, Trainer Gorres covers three exercises to Reduce the Risk of Concussion.
For serious athletes, being prepared for your season is not something you begin doing the week before the season starts. Getting stronger, improving your level of play, and being in top condition is not something that happens overnight. There are no shortcuts. It takes time, hard work, and a consistent effort to be at your best. Are you fit enough for the start of your season?