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NeuroStrong Soccer-Specific Warm-up

The following exercises involved in the Omaha Physical Therapy Institute’s NeuroStrong warm-up protocol have been taken from science backed soccer-specific neuromuscular training programs that have proven to be effective in reducing the amount of injuries in soccer athletes as well as enhance performance. This warm-up has been condensed for efficiency, effectiveness, and compliance. It is a simple set up and only takes around 10-12 minutes to perform. It is recommended that this warm-up be performed before all training sessions and games. Shortened versions of it should be performed for re-entry/bench re-warm ups along with post-game/training cool downs. For maximal effectiveness, it is recommended that athletes engage in these exercises at least 2-3x/week and really focus on their form during the different movements. The longer the program is performed, the more neuromuscular control and kinesthetic awareness the athlete gains, creating a greater reduction in injury rates.

Soccer Specific Warm-up

Omaha Physical Therapy Institute’s NeuroStrong protocol

  • Jogging Forward/Jogging Backward
  • Side shuffling with Arm Swings
  • High knees/Butt kicks
  • Carioca
  • Shuffle-kicks/ Jog back
  • Running Hip out / Jog back
  • Running Hip in / Jog back
  • Shuffle cuts forward / Shuffle cuts backward
  • Forward lunge with arms overhead / Jog back
  • Side lunge-pivot-side lunge (Alternating legs) / Jog back
  • Running to stop on one leg at each cone down and back (Alternate legs)
  • Diagonal run with lunge-turn at cones (Alternate legs) / Jog back 2 Repetitions
  • Scissor lunges forward / Jog back
  • Skater hopping forward. Perform down AND back.
  • Quick running forward 2 cones, back pedal backward 1 cone / Jog back 2 Repetitions
  • Sprint forward / Defensive shuffling back 2 Repetitions
HOPPING (5 reps each leg- make sure to bend your knee when you land!)
  • Single leg hopping forward/backward over line or cone 5 repetitions each leg
  • Single leg hopping side-side over line or cone 5 repetitions each leg
  • Shoulder to shoulder hops with a partner 5 repetitions each side
STRENGTH AND CONTROL
  • Nordic hamstrings with partner holding 5 repetitions
  • Lizard plank 10 repetitions each side
  • Single leg balancing with partner while tossing a ball 20 seconds each leg
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References:

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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]
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10. PLoS One. 2019 Aug 29;14(8):e0221346. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0221346. eCollection 2019.

“Katie is the best PT in the world! I truly appreciate her patience, enthusiasm, and knowledge. I am now back playing softball and loving it!” –Jessi (ACL surgery)

“Going to physical therapy at OPTI was something I looked forward to every week. Katie not only helped me with the physical part but she also got me through the mental obstacles of recovery. She is the only therapist I know that will take her patient out on the field and work with them one-on-one. Katie and Brent made me feel comfortable and they could always make me laugh through the frustrating times in rehab.”  –Ally B.

"My orthopedic surgeon suggested physical therapy for my tennis elbow. I had no idea where to start? I called my PCP and was referred to OPTI…I couldn’t be more satisfied with the therapy I received from there. Everyone is nice starting at the front desk with Lori! I would recommend them hands down than any other place in town. Thanks OPTI!" –Stephanie (Tennis Elbow)

"I really appreciate how much Brent helped me get back into playing collegiate baseball after my shoulder surgery. He gave me comfort, hope, and strength during a tough time and I am grateful for it." –Mike (Shoulder surgery)

“Something I would want people to know about OPTI is that I was able see the same physical therapist every single visit. Most people do not realize that this is unfortunately unique about OPTI. I went to a different PT clinic initially for my injury and found out I was being seen by a college student who was a technician there so I switched to OPTI. It is a night and day difference in quality of care between the two clinics.” – Claire B.

“As an orthopedic surgeon, it is comforting to know that my patients are getting the attention they deserve. They are the most trustworthy PT’s in the area. I have even sent family to them.” – Orthopedic Surgeon in the Omaha area

“The one on one attention was great. I liked that everything we did tied back to soccer. My rehab was soccer-specific and I was able to get some sessions in at the Athletes In Motion Clinic out at the Omaha Sports Complex which was pretty awesome! I felt confident in returning to play!” – Paul (Ankle Injury)

“This note is no doubt long overdue, but comes with enormous gratitude that only continues to grow. This September marked three years since my ACL repair, and each day since I have been blessed with the ability to be fully active, play any sport my heart desired, continue coaching the beautiful game of soccer, climb new mountains (literally) and take on countless adventures and challenges. I certainly have your impressive expertise and fabulous patient care to thank for much of that. So, with all of my heart (and my healthy-thanks-to-you-right-knee), I am grateful. Thank you for leaving a positive permanent impact in my life!” – Becca (ACL Surgery)

“As an athlete, soccer is my life. ACL Reconstruction surgery could have ended my career. I am forever grateful to Omaha Physical Therapy Institute (OPTI) and their Athletes In Motion (A.I.M.) program. OPTI’s team got me back into action and I am back playing the sport I love. OPTI has the best Physical Therapy team in Omaha.” – Mayme Conroy, UNL Soccer, Redditch United F.C.

“I did most of my rehab at the A.I.M. clinic. It was awesome! From the first day, I knew I was going to make it back to pitching. Having the turf and the nets to throw and pitch into helped me get my confidence back.” – Brandon (Tommy John Surgery)

“I am so grateful for the care I received from Marc. He was gentle and kind and helped my back so much.” – Bonnie (Low back pain)

“I have had a total knee replacement on both knees but have gone to two different places for physical therapy. Omaha Physical Therapy Institute was so much better than the first place I had to go to. I was able to see Brent every time and his approach to getting my knee to straighten and bend was a lot more effective and less painful than the other place.” – Diane T.