Warm-Up Routine Could Reduce Childhood Soccer Injuries
Sports scientists at the University of Basel recently conducted a study demonstrating that the use of a warm-up program designed specifically for children was able to decrease the odds of a player suffering from an injury. In fact, the odds were decreased by half. The study was published in Sports Medicine.
The warm-up routine that the scientists looked at is about 20 minutes long. It was created by an international team of experts with the intention of lowering injury risk. The warm-up exercises are meant to be performed before taking the field and consist of exercises for leg and feet stability, exercises for body and trunk stability, and one exercise for falling techniques.
This warm-up program, called “11+ Kids,” has five different levels to accommodate players of different ages and abilities.
To perform the study, the research team recruited 3,895 soccer players between the ages of 7 and 13 years, located in four different European countries. Researchers found that when players performed the warm-up routine before regular soccer training, overall injury instances fell by 48 percent. Reports of serious injury fell by as much as 74 percent when compared to a group that did not do the warm-up routine.
The focus of a warm-up routine for young soccer players is important, because childhood soccer injuries are different from soccer injuries suffered by teenagers and adults. For example, children are more likely to suffer from injuries to the upper extremities or broken bones when compared with older players. With specialized warm-ups, even once or twice a week can make a difference in preventing injuries.