Preventing The Injury Before It’s An Injury

fitnessinsider_article

Photo Credit: 
Robert Mora / LA Galaxy

Welcome to the Galaxy Fitness Insider. This weekly feature will be written by Galaxy Strength & Conditioning Coach Ben Yauss and will look at how he interacts with the Galaxy players and applies performance training to maximize the players' physical development. Each week, Ben will focus on a different piece of the Galaxy players' overall training plan and use current examples of how these training techniques are being used by the players. Fans are encouraged to participate by leaving questions for Ben either in the chat box or at the bottom of each weekly article, which he will aim to incorporate into future posts. Please be advised that the information in the Galaxy Fitness Insider is for informational purposes only and not intended for use by all audiences.

Soccer is one of the most demanding sports in the world and one of the most demanding sports on our bodies.  What other sport can you think of that requires you to start, stop, cut, change direction, jump, sprint, and defend all while running up and down a grass field that is over a 100 yards long and 70 yards wide, without so much as a time out or water break, for periods lasting up to 90 minutes. 

It is no wonder that soccer players are at such a high risk for injuries from the physical toll they put on their bodies day in and day out.  While it is impossible to prevent all injuries from occurring, and I wish I could, what we can do is implement injury prevention programs into our training to try and reduce the likelihood of an injury from happening. This gives our players the best possible chance to stay injury-free, be productive and perform at their highest level.

While the big picture is that everything we do looks to keep our players healthy, when looking at it on a very specific level, we can give each player a program they can follow to prevent injuries.  These programs concentrate on specific core, hip, groin, and hamstring exercises that aim to reduce the likelihood of pulling or straining a muscle. 

Most of these programs are 10 to 15 minutes long and are performed on a daily basis prior to the start of a practice.  The programs incorporate stretching (mobility), balance (stability), soft tissue (self massage), and strength exercise that will help the players activate and strengthen the correct muscles while also improving their flexibility and stability.  By getting stronger, more stable, and improving our flexibility we can hopefully reduce the chances of pulling a muscle and improve our performance on the pitch.

Next week, we will look a little closer at this topic of injury prevention and go through a sample program for hamstring and groin prevention programs, as well as check in on a couple of players who are using these programs to stay injury-free this season.

Follow all of Ben's Galaxy Fitness Insider updates at www.lagalaxy.com/fitnessinsider. Fans are encouraged to participate by leaving questions for Ben either in the chat box on the page or at the bottom of each article, which he will aim to incorporate into these weekly posts.