Soccer to some, futbol to others, but to us it's what got Arash & Craig into physical therapy in the first place! Soccer is the world’s most popular sport and demonstrates continued growth in the US each year. Over 13 million Americans play soccer and there are over 3 million youth soccer players registered in the United States today. Although there are benefits to playing soccer such as improved cardiovascular health, strength, and self-esteem, there are also some inherent risks. Just like any sport, soccer has physical requirements and demands a lot from your body.
In this video, we'll cover the most common soccer ‘injury prevention’ exercises rooted in science! We'lll also challenge the notion of ‘injury prevention’ and suggest a better term to be widely accepted for the foreseeable future!
If you like this video, BE SURE to check out our article ‘The Best Soccer Prehab Exercises For Injury Prevention' https://theprehabguys.com/soccer-preh...
Why Adductor Exercises?
The adductor muscle group is made up of the adductor magnus, longus, and brevis. There are other muscles that contribute to hip adduction including the pectineus and gracilis. Due to the large adductor eccentric contraction demands in sports training and competition such as soccer, there is a high prevalence of adductor muscle injuries. However, there is evidence to suggest including eccentric adductor strengthening exercises can potentially reduce injuries in athletes, specifically soccer players! The gold standard for the adductors is the Copenhagen Adductor as it demands high muscle activity of the adductor longus muscle and the abdominal muscles, both of which are protective against groin problems (1). Demonstrated in this video is an isometric version of the Copenhagen Adductor exercise as well as some variations you can work with. Be sure to check out our new article we referenced earlier for the true version of the Copenhagen Adductor described in research! https://theprehabguys.com/soccer-preh...
Why Quadriceps Exercises?
The quadriceps muscle group is made up of the vastus intermedius, vastus lateralis, vatus medialis, and rectus femoris. Quad strains are another common soccer muscle injury due to its biarticular nature (the rectus femoris muscle crossing the hip and knee joint), which exposes it to a high risk of injury during fast movements such as repeated sprints, changes in direction, and kicking motions. The gold standard for the quadriceps is the Reverse Nordic Hamstring Curl demonstrated above as it has been shown to improve the eccentric performance of the quadriceps muscles.
Why Hamstring Exercises?
Hamstring strains are the most common soccer muscle injury accounting for up to 50% of muscle injuries. Incorporation of eccentric hamstring exercises - such as the Nordic Hamstring Exercise - have been found to be successful in helping to reduce the incidence of hamstring strain injuries up to 51% in soccer players (9). Eccentric exercises increase muscle fascicle length and improve strength, thereby addressing two of the modifiable risk factors associated with hamstring strain injuries. A comprehensive hamstring strain injury prevention program should include eccentric hamstring strengthening exercises, quad and hamstring flexibility, neuromuscular control of the lower extremities and lumbopelvic region, core stability, and sport-specific movement patterns.
Can We Actually Prevent All Soccer Injuries?
No, unfortunately, we can't prevent all soccer injuries from occurring. With any sport there's an inherent risk of getting injured but that doesn't mean we throw away soccer prehab exercises! The goal of [P]Rehab is to mitigate the level of risk, we want to change the narrative from injury prevention to risk reduction! That is why being a pro soccer player is a full-time job. Players have to take care of their bodies, they train in order to expose their body to the demands of their sport in efforts to be prepared to perform at the highest level with the lowest risk of injury!
Video edited by: instagram.com/aesthetic_al
Haroy J, Clarsen B, Wiger EG, et al. The adductor strengthening programme prevents groin problems among male football players: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. Br J Sports Med.
Alonso-Fernandez D, et al. Effects of eccentric exercise on the quadriceps architecture. Sci sports (2020), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scispo.2019...
Alonso-Fernandez D, et al. Changes in rectus femoris architecture induced by the reverse nordic hamstring exercises. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2019.
Al Attar WSA, Soomro N, Sinclair PJ, et al. Effect of injury prevention programs that include the nordic hamstring exercise on hamstring injury rates in soccer players: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Sports Med 2017;47:A35.2–A35.