Football Injury Prevention Program: The FIFA 11+

The “FIFA 11+” is a freely available injury prevention program developed by experts for amateur soccer players aged 14 and up (see links below). Studies have shown that teams completing the program at least twice per week and as the pre-game warm up, had up to 37% fewer training injuries, and 29% fewer match injuries.

The program consists of 3 parts with different levels, with a total of 15 exercises to be performed in a specific order at the beginning of each session. Levels can be progressed when exercises can be performed without difficulty and with proper technique.

Part 1 – slow speed running exercises combined with active stretching. E.g. running straight ahead, or forwards and backwards.

Part 2 – 6 sets of exercises focusing on core and leg strength, plyometrics, agility, and balance. E.g. Nordic hamstrings, walking lunges and vertical or box jumps.

Part 3 – Running exercises at moderate to high speed combined with sharp changes of direction. E.g. running straight, bounding or plant and cut.
The key elements of injury prevention addressed in the program:

Core training – Includes muscles of the abdominals, back extensors, and hips. Trunk control is key for optimal function and injury prevention of the lower extremities, particularly the knee joint.

Neuromuscular control and balance – Involves interacting systems integrating different components of muscle actions. These include static, dynamic and reactive aspects, as well as concentric and eccentric contractions, balance, stabilisation, posture and anticipation.

Plyometrics and agility – Plyometric exercises involve rapid and repeated dynamic stretching and contraction of muscles, designed to increase strength and power. They can train specific movement patterns that are biomechanically correct, strengthening the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Evidence suggests that plyometric training contributes to a potential reduction in ACL and ankle injury risk.

As always, it is important to seek advice from an exercise professional prior to adding new exercises to your program. So speak to your Exercise Physiologist or Physio to get your injury prevention program started!

FIFA 11+ Warm up Program: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yUbKhJkUg08DTOSsOyRe50yYSFsI39GD/view?usp=sharing

FIFA 11+ Poster: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1POPBmLMLezEg3k7_L1cjmljC_4Bo5Fjg/view?usp=sharing

FIFA 11+ Manual: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BqV8zKpy48p7_-d8SrHWw2b76B30dNEX/view?usp=sharing

You Tube FIFA 11+ link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSJIp7e7fyY

BJSM Study Reference: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/49/9/577

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