Since 2006, the 11+ injury prevention program previously known as the FIFA 11+ has been created and researched. The 11+ is a warm-up routine that has been proven to reduce lower limb injury rates by up to 50%, including serious injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament ruptures.
The 11+ focuses on improving muscle control and strength with correct movement techniques. This highly effective warm-up routine can be implemented with a few cones and 20 minutes of time. The warm-up has been shown to be very effective in amateur footballers in both the men’s and women’s game and is applicable to players 13 years and older.
There are 3 parts to the warm up:
- PART 1: Running and change of direction work
- PART 2: Strength and condtioning. This part has Levels 1, 2 and 3 which represent increasing difficulty and can be progressed through as your strength, technique and experience progress
- PART 3: Higher speed running
The warm-up is aimed at players who are not injured. The 11+ is an injury prevention/reduction program and should not be used as a rehabilitation tool for injury treatment or recovery.
In addition to the standard 11+ warm up, we have added a progressive adductor strengthening protocol to the video demonstrations as good science supports these exercises in the prevention of adductor strains which are a common injury in football.
Stretching does not make up part of the 11+ warm up. Although stretching has always been traditionally performed before games, there is little evidence to support stretching reducing injury rates and it may even reduce performance if performed immediately before activity. Stretching may still be something you wish to add in and should be considered individually. Where possible, stretching is best performed after a session as part of a cool down.
The 11+ has also been shown to assist performance. Not only do players improve their capacity from the progressive strength and conditioning component, but teams also perform better. Teams with lower injury rates consistently have higher league rankings and more points per game.
The program should be started in pre-season and continued throughout the season. The aim is to perform the warm-up 3 times/week as a minimum. The benefits start to be seen after 6-12 weeks on injury prevention and are greatest in those that continue with the program consistently.
The 11+ is easy to perform, though with any new tasks there are always questions which arise. We have created instructional easy-to-follow videos for each Part of the 11+ below. At the bottom of the page are instructional booklets which can be printed out if needed as well.
11+ PART 1 & 3
11+ PART 2: LEVEL 1
11+ PART 2: LEVEL 2
11+ PART 2: LEVEL 3
Written information for the 11+ are free and can be accessed below: