Warm up exercises in Field Hockey are important as hockey can be challenging on your body but good training techniques will ease those demands. We have partnered with Surbiton Hockey Club to develop a hockey training routine that will improve fitness, stamina and performance as well as reduce injury.
Warm up exercises for Field Hockey
We have been working with Surbiton Hockey Club over the past year and have seen a number of injuries coming through. Working with Head Coach Will Fulkner and the other coaches we have adapted an injury prevention programme called The FIFA 11+ to apply to hockey.
The FIFA 11+ has been scientifically tested to show significant reduction in injuries if carried out twice per week during the season. (Thorberg et al, 2016).
The programme consists of exercises addressing flexibility, motor awareness, strength, balance, landing techniques for knee and ankle injury prevention and finally agility drills. These have been proven to help performance as well as reduce the risk of injury.
The players can also download THE DIARY SHEET or create one themselves.
The diary is a great way to make sure you keep going with these exercises. It allows the player to see the results the programme offers. Also on the diary players have to tick when they have stretched as well as make a note of training hours for hockey and other sports. Often injuries or illness occurs when the players are fatigued so being aware on the diary can help parents and players keep track of their wellbeing.
Everyone is aware of the benefits of flexibility and it is especially important in the growing sports person. As an adolescent’s body grows the muscles can often become tight as they catch up with the long bones growth. This with the combination of a high volume of sport can lead to traction injuries through the tendons connecting to the bones. These are typically your childhood sports injuries such as Osgood Slatters’ and Severs’. Flexibility is therefore a key session to include in your weekly programme, this can also include use of the foam roller.
Stretches that you should include are:
Stretches should be performed x2 per week.
Motor awareness is a key aspect to building up your robustness to sport and reducing injuries. Motor awareness is developing the ability to understand how you move your body. This is not only useful for understanding technical skills but also understanding how to improve your positions whilst playing. Hockey is a very demanding sport on the body and the more you are aware of where you are moving from the quicker you can correct poor technique that may eventually lead to repetitive strain.
A simple way to improve your motor awareness is by every time you carry out the warm up programme think about the cues given and how you are doing the exercises. Look at the videos and really focus on how the perform each exercise.
Strength is often the missing ingredient in a lot of sports injuries. If you are putting large amounts of loads through your body and its more than it can cope with, you will often get complaints or niggles. Core strength, quads strength and hamstring strength as key to hockey. As you build up your core and your legs your back strength will also improve. Calf strength is also important to help with faster running.
The following videos are references on how to perform:
Balance is really important for knee and ankle injuries. Many studies have shown that if you work on your balance regularly it helps to reduce ankle sprains and knee ligament injuries. Balance work is your body’s way of working out where its placement is. If you practise balance work your body is able to cope with changing direction. As you are growing you are also slightly off balance as your body adapts to the new positions. Getting a wobble cushion would be useful especially if you have already had an ankle or knee sprain.
Agility Drills or Plyometric work
Plyometric work is the final piece of the jigsaw. It is used to build power in athletes but also is great for teaching the body how to control certain movements. ACL injuries predominantly occur with 3 movements; landing on a straight lead (hyper-extension injury), twisting on a fixed foot (turning on the pitch) and your body going over the knee.
Within the injury prevention programme drills are designed to help players repeat these movements with the correct technique with the hope that they we become habitual.
Examples of Agility:
Injury Prevention Warm Up Videos
Injury Prevention Warm up was inspired by the FIFA 11+ and designed for Field hockey players looking at flexibility, strength, balance and agility.
Running forwards and backwards EX 1
Hip Flexibility Ex 2
Ex 3 Heel Flicks aiming to dynamically stretch the quads and open the hips.
The warm up programme is designed to run through each exercise in the programme.