The FIFA 11+ is an integral warm-up exercise specifically intended to prevent injuries in the soccer community. In fact, it was developed specifically for the sport. Unfortunately, many coaches don’t realize how important this specific warm up is in terms of preventing injuries. To the contrary, they believe static stretching and a light jog are all that’s needed for an adequate warm up.
The 11+ is a 20-minute warm up consisting of 15 exercises that include running, muscle activation, plyometric exercises and balance exercises. It has been shown to reduce injuries up to 45% and reduce the severity of injuries by up to 30%. Holly Silvers, a physical therapist with a PhD in biomechanics, began the program around 1999 when her brother-in-law tore his ACL in a soccer match and the 11+ subsequently became a national sensation that is used throughout US Club Soccer to this day.
The running portion of the program consists of running straight ahead, running while rotating the hips out, running while rotating the hips in, running while circling a partner, running with shoulder contact against a teammate, and running forward and backward quickly. The activation/strengthening aspect consists of core, quad, glute, hamstring and adductor activation that are all integral muscles of the lower extremities that promote proximal stability for distal mobility. Attached is an image of this great warm up that can help you and your team to prevent injuries.