Damaging your anterior cruciate ligament often referred to as the ACL is one of those knee injuries that can be career ending for any amateur or professional sports athlete
As physios we often see people in the practice with a knee injury. Often these injuries involve the ACL – whether it is ruptured or partially torn. Either way it means months of rehabilitation and months on the sideline.
In fact, ACL injuries were so common amongst elite soccer (football) players that the international body governing soccer Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and its Medical Assessment and Research Centre, F-MARC, researched and developed an injury prevention program the “11+” aiming to decrease the rate of ACL knee injuries amongst its players. The 11+ FIFA injury prevention warm up program was first rolled out in 2010 at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. It has proven to be a very successful program substantially reducing ACL knee injuries in players. Major clinical research studies have demonstrated the consistent implementation of the “11+” can lead to a 30–50% reduction in injuries.
Move Better for Life is the proud sponsors of the Tamworth Football Club and so we recommend all players and coaches consistently implement this program in their training. It was developed for elite and amateur players 14years +. It is a complete warm-up package and when implemented consistently will help protect and reduce the risk of injury to yourself and your fellow players.
Although designed for football players, it is applicable to most sports that require frequent pivoting, such as netball, basketball, and rugby. It is useful for rehabilitating players who have had an ACL reconstruction and have fully rehabilitated after the surgery (at least 6 months post-surgery).
The exercises take around 20 minutes to perform, and involve:
- Plyometrics or explosive exercises
The program requires no special equipment and can be implemented by coaches, physiotherapists, or by the player themselves. It involves exercises and drills that improve movement coordination, balance, and strength.
Our exercise physiologist, Alex, demonstrates two of the exercises which are part of the program – a squat with toe raise and a lunge.
Download the 11+ manual with the specifics of the program.