Research has shown the FIFA 11+ program to be effective at preventing football injuries.
The reasons for warming up before any physical activity are well known. But are our warm-ups adequately preparing us for an improved performance on the pitch while reducing our inherent risk of injury? Developed and studied by the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC), the FIFA 11+ injury prevention program has been proven in multiple research studies worldwide to significantly reduce injuries and enhance performance.
The FIFA 11+ warm-up has been shown to substantially reduce major injuries, particularly in females between the ages of 13-18 who have a high risk of knee and ACL injury, by 50% and a reduction of 39% of overall injury incidence in recreational/sub-elite football.
The program is only effective when the warm-up exercises are performed regularly, at least twice a week. Compliance is of utmost importance—injury risk is lowest in those players with higher adherence to the program.
What’s Involved In the FIFA 11+ Program?
The FIFA 11+ program consists of three parts with a total of 15 exercises in the specified sequence. It should be performed, as a standard warm-up, at the start of every training session at least twice a week. Prior to matches, only the running exercises (parts 1 and 3) should be performed. It is important to use proper technique during all exercises. The 11+ program is broken down into three parts:
- Slow-speed running exercises coupled with active and partner stretching.
- Core and leg strength exercises, along with balance, plyometrics, and agility exercises.
- Moderate/high speed running exercises integrated with cutting and pivoting movements.
Does The Program Improve Performance?
“Are there performance benefits of such exercises?” is a common question by football coaches when exposed to an ‘injury prevention program’. Research has found significantly better neuromuscular control (quicker stabilisation time of lower extremity and core) in players after 9 weeks of FIFA 11+ program. Further studies have shown better hamstring/quads strength ratios, improved jumping and agility skills and superior static/dynamic balance.
FIFA 11+ For Children
The FIFA 11+ KIDS programme is a complete warm-up program for children under the age of 14. In comparison the the FIFA 11+ program, the warm-up exercises focus on: a) spatial orientation, anticipation, and attention; b) whole body and leg stability and coordination; and c) appropriate fall techniques.
Does It Work For Other Sports?
The FIFA 11+ program has also been investigated in other sports. Research found a reduced rate of injury in elite basketball players randomised to warming up with this program.
For further information about the FIFA 11+ program or instruction on how to run the warm-up contact one of the Physiotherapists at Jubilee Sports Physiotherapy.