German researchers have set up a warm-up program capable of dividing players' injuries in half over a season. A study supported by FIFA.
It is very common for a footballer to get injured in the field. In 2014, UEFA published a report on injuries in elite clubs for the 2012/13 season in order to "reduce the frequency and severity of bodily injury" in the field. Injuries to the lower limbs, including hips, thighs, knees, ankles and feet are the most common among footballers. According to a Swedish study carried out in 2017, 3% of head injuries and 7% of back injuries were also identified. On average, a player would have a 12.1% chance of getting injured during a training or match.
A protocol to avoid injuries on the ground
The problem is such that scientists at the University of Basel, Germany, have developed a warm-up program specifically designed for children and designed to reduce football injury by 50%. A total of 243 teams including about 3,900 children from four different European countries participated in the study. The characteristics of childhood injuries differ from those observed among youth and adults. "For example, children are more likely to suffer fractures or upper limb injuries," says Dr. Oliver Faude of the University of Basel. A team of experts has therefore set up a 20-minute warm-up, called the "11 + Kids" program, which includes seven warm-up exercises to be done at the beginning of certain training sessions.
The researchers did two groups: while the first was doing his training as usual, the second was warming up regularly with the program "11 + Kids". After one season, they found that the injury rate for the team that had followed the program was 48% lower than in the control group, while the rate of serious injuries had decreased by 74%. The results of this study, supported by FIFA, show that an appropriate warm-up program can prevent a large percentage of injuries provided it is done once or twice a week.