Muscle injuries are common in soccer players. Quadriceps muscle injuries in particular are uniquely common to soccer players because of their large role in kicking and running. This can also make recovery challenging.
Physical therapist, Brian Edmonson shares some tips to prevent quadriceps injuries.
The best way to combat an injury is through prevention. Effective prevention of quad injuries includes an appropriate warm up before playing, flexibility and strength training of quads and hip flexors, trunk control and appropriate kicking mechanics.
A good soccer warmup includes dynamic movements through full ranges of motion. It’s also incorporates movements of muscles needed for playing soccer. A well-studied warmup program that incorporates this well is the FIFA 11+.
Passing and shooting warm-ups are also necessary. They should progress from shorter and lighter passes and shots to longer and harder ones.
Most quadriceps injuries occur when the muscles are at their longest and most stretched positions. Strengthening quad muscles and hip flexors should be performed through their full range of motion. If hip flexors muscles are under-trained, quad muscles are forced to perform more work while kicking. This creates greater chance for injury.
Trunk control and kicking mechanics
Good hip and core control are also a necessary part of training. Players should focus on running and kicking without exaggerating the arch of the back. Two other important components of kicking are an appropriate trunk lean and follow through. If done correctly, each of these can decrease the risk of quadriceps injuries.
Here are a few exercises you can do to help warm up your quads:
Reverse Nordic Curl
Kneeling Quad/Hip Flexor Stretch
For more information about visit the Return to Soccer Program web page or call 952-806-5616 to schedule a soccer evaluation.