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The Best Youth Soccer Warmup

Neuromuscular training can reduce injuries.

Youth soccer

When determining what kind of warmup is best for the youth soccer teams you coach, take a cue from recent research. Children who participated in coach-led neuromuscular training (NMT) warmups had fewer acute noncontact lower-extremity injuries when compared with those who performed standard warmups, as described in Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine (2021; doi:10.1177/23259671211005769).

A NMT warmup improves the brain and body’s ability to react and communicate. Exercises include running and coordination drills such as carioca, hip muscle activation, core, balance, and speed and deceleration moves. Study authors suggest that youth soccer coaches and healthcare professionals support NMT warmup methods.

To see the warmup exercises used in the study, visit bit.ly/3hazxOa.

See also: Functional Training for Youth

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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November-December 2020 IDEA Fitness Journal

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