5 Injury Prevention Exercises for American Football

Some injuries sustained during contact sports are unavoidable and simply down to bad luck. That being said there are a number of common injuries that occur that can be avoided, or at least reduced in severity through proper pre-season strength and conditioning. Here are my top 5 exercises for injury prevention in contact sports:

1. Single Leg Deficit Box Squats

Why? Unilateral (single side) movements are great for resolving strength imbalances between sides which often contribute towards increased chances of injury. Single leg squats help strengthen the quads which support you patella (kneecap) & also improve ankle & hip stability.

How? (See Video Demonstration)

  • Maintain top foot heel contact with box

  • Lower with control and lightly tap bottom foot heel on ground

  • Use arms for counterbalance and ensure knee & toes on top leg point the same direction throughout

  • Use arms for counterbalance but avoid excessive lean forward with body

Rotator.jpg

2. Banded/Cable External Rotation

Why? Shoulder injuries are common in contact sports but most injuries are usually to the smaller rotator cuff muscles that support the shoulder joint. Most people’s training focuses heavily of the external shoulder muscles (Deltoids) but miss out these important supporting muscles.

How? (See Video Demonstration)

  • Keep elbow locked close to your side (Tip: hold small towel under armpit to maintain strict form, if arm moves away from your body you will drop the towel)

  • Keep forearm parallel to the floor throughout the exercise

Nordic.jpg

3. Nordic Curls (advanced)

Why? Some studies have found that training adaptations from eccentric training can lower the frequency of muscle tears. Another factor that has been linked to an increased chance of injury is a imbalance between quad and hamstring strength. People are often quad dominant so this hamstring exercise is perfect for reducing the imbalance.

How? (See Video Demonstration)

  • Maintain straight body and lower as slow as possible

  • Catch yourself and go into a press up

  • Use the minimum amount of push needed to get back to top using mostly your hamstrings

  • Finish the last 20% of the way up slowly with just your hamstrings

  • Too difficult? Try a Swiss Ball Hamstring Curl

Dead.jpg

4. Deadbugs

Why? Core strength is essential for supporting your spine and holding your body solid whilst producing force through your limbs. A week core is like having soft suspension on a bike and trying to go fast. The power you push into the pedals that should go into propelling you forward is instead wasted into movement in the suspension. A solid core strength means you can transfer that force generated onto moving another player and not waste power into a weak core.

How? (See Video Demonstration)

  • The most important thing is to keep your lower back flat to the floor (NO ARCHING)

  • Drop leg & opposite arm down as far as you can go without losing lower back contact with the floor

  • Perform a 30-90 second set of slow controlled alternating drops

RDL.jpg

5. Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts

Why? Excellent for developing ankle and hip strength and stability as well as improving hamstring flexibility. This will truly expose your strength and flexibility imbalances showing you what you need to work on to be a more efficient, high performing athlete.

How? (See Video Demonstration)

  • Maintain a slight bend in the knee of the leg you are standing on

  • Don’t twist hips during movement

  • Reach hands towards shoe laces maintaining flat back

JOIN OUR MAILING LIST FOR MORE FREE RESOURCES . . .

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Synergy Health & Performance:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.