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Neuromuscular Warm-Up Reduces Injury Risk

November 14, 2011

The lower body injury rates for females on high school soccer teams is 2.36 for every 1,000 exposures (practice session or game). It's 2.01 for every 1,000 exposures if you're playing basketball. The most serious injuries involve the knee which accounts for 91% of all season ending injuries and 94% of injuries requiring surgery.

Obviously, injury-free competition is a priority for both players and coaches. A study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine suggests coach-led neuromuscular warm-ups lasting about 20 minutes before practice and even less time before games might significantly reduce injury rates.

Researchers recruited 737 high school players to test this combination of progressive strengthening, balance, agility and plyometric exercises which came with one-to-one feedback from their coach. At the end of the 2006-2007 season, 96 players in a control group of 755 soccer and basketball athletes were injured during the season compared to 50 who practiced neuromuscular warm-up techniques. None of the neuromuscular warm-up group's injuries required surgery.