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Balance Exercises During Warm-Up Can Reduce Ankle Sprains in Soccer Athletes

Ankle sprains are very common among soccer players.  In fact, it is one of the more common injuries in soccer, affecting not only an athlete’s playing time but resulting in healthcare costs as well.

A recent systematic review published in the Journal of Physiotherapy assessed several different studies that looked at the effect of including balance exercises in an injury reduction warm-up on the incidence of ankle injuries.

What they found among the different articles was a 36% reduction in ankle injuries (per 1000 hours of exposure) in the groups that did an injury reduction warm-up that included balance exercises versus the groups that just did their team’s regular warm-up.

This is great information for coaches and players to have to make sure that a warm-up includes balance components (along with other injury reduction exercises).

Omaha Physical Therapy Institute has developed the “NeuroStrong” warm-up specific to soccer which includes several balance exercises.

Here are some examples of balance exercises we have incorporated into our injury reduction warm-up that would be great to incorporate into your teams’ warm-up!


If you have questions or need more ideas for how to include balance exercises in your team’s warm-up, give Omaha Physical Therapy Institute a call today!


Additional references:

1. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2018 May;58(5):659-663. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07024-4. Epub 2017 Feb 21.
2. Clin Rehabil. 2017 May;31(5):651-659. doi: 10.1177/0269215516675906. Epub 2016 Nov 3.
3. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2014 Nov 19;11(11):11986-2000. doi: 10.3390/ijerph111111986.
4. J Physiother. 2017 Oct;63(4):235-242. doi: 10.1016/j.jphys.2017.08.004. Epub 2017 Sep 20.
5. Am J Sports Med. 2015 Jun;43(6):1316-23. doi: 10.1177/0363546515574057. Epub 2015 Mar 20.
6. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2019 Aug 8. doi: 10.1111/sms.13535. [Epub ahead of print]
7. Biol Sport. 2013 Dec;30(4):281-8. doi: 10.5604/20831862.1077554. Epub 2013 Nov 25.
8. J Sports Sci. 2016;34(6):549-56. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2015.1099715. Epub 2015 Oct 27.
9. Br J Sports Med. 2017 Apr;51(7):562-571. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-097066. Epub 2017 Jan 13.
10. PLoS One. 2019 Aug 29;14(8):e0221346. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0221346. eCollection 2019.


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