Football is a physical game that requires speed, agility and strength. It is one of the games that have the highest number of players getting injured because of the physicality of the game. Most of the injuries are from contact, but there are some that comes from non-contact, which you can avoid if you are well-preferred for the game.
Muscle pulls happens when a nearby muscle did not do their part of the job to support the affected muscle. Low back ours because of weak abdominals and glutes, while hamstring pulls arise because of poor hip extension along with a weak spot glutes area.
Joint injuries take place if there is muscles disparity in the front and back area. An athlete that focuses on their chest, but ignore the back muscles will go through an acute shoulder injury, or chronic pain because of the pressing actions that he does in the gym or the field. Those who focus on developing their Quadriceps too much will experience knee joint unsteadiness with deceleration and cutting, therefore, the common cause of many ACL and cartilage injuries.
Here are the key points of a sound strength training program for football.
If you are training the back of the body, you should also train the front.
You need to train to move in different ways because it is not all about moving forward as there are also rotational and lateral movements. Plyometric and agility drills should include this too.
The trunk is where most athletes are of the weakest so train it and develop it. It is one of the parts of the body needed to have a good game.
Neck:It is the area that supports the head and shoulders, where contact happen the most. A strong neck can prevent most injuries from happening. Neck strengthening should be done in a machine or resistance from you training partner. Always maintain a good posture as you train the neck. Deadlifts, cleans and farmer’s walk are a good way to work the upper traps. Shrugs and upright not recommended to strengthen the neck since they bring out poor posture that results to more neck and shoulder pain.
Shoulders: The shoulders are the most mobile among all the joint, but they are also the least stable. The rotator cuff and scapular muscles of the upper back are responsible are needed to be strengthen if you want more stability, especially when performing pressing and overhead movements. In order to maintain the glenohumeral rhythm and joint space that prevents impingement, you need to improve the scapular muscles. Only if, you improve them, you can enjoy having a stabilize shoulder.
The scapular muscle can be work using pull-downs, chins, pull-ups, dumbbell or barbell rows, and deadlifts. Good posture should be practiced while working this muscle group. One of the best ways to work the Rotator cuff muscles is through the use of bands or dumbbells and performed rotational movements and diagonal patterns. While holding a light dumbbell on your hand, perform T’s, Y’s, L’s, and W’s so that you can warm-up before you lift some weights.
Lumbar Spine:Another back area that is at a high risk of getting injured is the lower back, but this is also preventable if you are strengthening and giving attention to proper form of lifting. Popular exercises like cleans, squats, and deadlifts should be performed with proper a form to prevent in juries from happening. Holding the right posture while lifting, also works the back area. If you want to target these muscles, exercises like back hyperextensions and good mornings are the ones that you should be performing since they have a greater range of motion that targets target these muscles.
A strong abdominal muscle help stabliized the spine, as well as, transfer the power between the lower and upper body. Medicine balls are one of the best when it comes to working out the abdominal muscles.
Knees: As already stated on this article, knee injuries usually arise when there is a muscle imbalance. To improve your knee, you need to perform squats. Other exercises that can help improve the stability of the knee are hamstring curls, glute-ham raises, and Romanian deadlifts. Unilateral exercises like lunges, single leg squats, and single leg deadlifts can be use to improve the stability of the knees from one side to another. Lateral and rotation lunges are best to improve movements in cutting and changing of direction.
Ankles: Ankle injuries are one of the commonest injuries in football. This usually occurs when the player lands the wrong way. Strengthening the hips and trunk muscles will help you to prevent or reduce injuries from happening. Plyometrics are also a good way to improve the muscles in the ankles.