Dynamic Warmups reduce the likelihood for injury

I’ve been using dynamic warmups for 15 years as they’ve been a staple in the Track & Field world that I came from for the better part of the last two decades. Here’s more support for use of a dynamic warmup protocol over traditional warmups (jog + static stretch). The dynamic warmup protocol employed here used a very similar protocol that I try to employ however I can’t say I’ve ever used a wobble board in to the warmup (I’m guessing results would be exactly the same without it). Note that the presence of ‘functional’ or activation exercises (perhaps the wobble board serves that purpose?) is conspicuously absent in the dynamic warmup protocol.


Background?Soccer is a leading sport for participation and injury in youth.

Objective?To examine the effectiveness of a neuromuscular prevention strategy in reducing injury in youth soccer players.

Design?Cluster-randomised controlled trial.

Setting?Calgary soccer clubs (male or female, U13?U18, tier 1?2, indoor soccer).

Participants?Eighty-two soccer teams were approached for recruitment. Players from 60 teams completed the study (32 training (n=380), 28 control (n=364)).

Intervention?The training programme was a soccer-specific neuromuscular training programme including dynamic stretching, eccentric strength, agility, jumping and balance (including a home-based balance training programme using a wobble board). The control programme was a standardised warm-up (static and dynamic stretching and aerobic components) and a home-based stretching programme.

Main outcome measures?Previously validated injury surveillance included injury assessment by a study therapist. The injury definition was soccer injury resulting in medical attention and/or removal from a session and/or time loss.

Results?The injury rate in the training group was 2.08 injuries/1000 player-hours, and in the control group 3.35 injuries/1000 player-hours. Based on Poisson regression analysis, adjusted for clustering by team and covariates, the incidence rate ratios (IRR) for all injuries and acute onset injury were 0.62 (95% CI 0.39 to 0.99) and 0.57 (95% CI 0.35 to 0.91). Point estimates also suggest protection of lower extremity, ankle and knee sprain injuries (IRR=0.68 (95% CI 0.42 to 1.11), IRR=0.5 (95% CI 0.24 to 1.04) and IRR=0.38 (95% CI 0.08 to 1.75)).

Conclusions?A neuromuscular training programme is protective of all injuries and acute onset injury in youth soccer players.

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Mike Young

Director of Performance at Athletic Lab
Mike is the Head Fitness Coach for the North Carolina Courage and North Carolina FC. He is also the owner and Director of Performance at Athletic Lab sports performance training center. He previously served as the fitness coach for the Vancouver Whitecaps and Carolina Railhawks. He has a PhD in Biomechanics, an MS in Coaching Science, and a BSS in Exercise Physiology and has coached Olympic and professional athletes in Skeleton, Track & Field, MLS and NASL Soccer, PGA Golf, NFL Football, MLB Baseball and Olympic Weightlifting. He has lectured around the world and authored 2 books and dozens of research and coaching articles.