AFL, like any sport, comes with its share of injuries. However, by understanding the common injuries and taking appropriate measures, we can help them reduce the risk of getting hurt.
Here are the top AFL injuries and some tips to minimise the chance of them occurring.
Hamstring strains are the second most common injury in the AFL, accounting for about 19 per cent of all reported injuries during the 2021 season. This injury occurs when the muscles on the back of the thigh tear. Players who perform high-speed running, kicking, and jumping activities are at a higher risk of getting this injury.
To reduce the risk of hamstring strain, players should focus on improving their strength and flexibility as well as graduated exposure to running at higher velocities to help build resilience to injury. Additionally, eccentric training of the hamstrings can shift the angle of peak strength to longer muscle lengths, which may help also enhance athletic performance.
Calf strains are another common injury in the AFL, accounting for approximately 7 per cent of all reported injuries during the 2021 season. This injury occurs when the muscles on the back of the lower leg tear. Players who perform running and jumping activities are at a higher risk of getting this injury.
To reduce the risk of calf strains, players should modify their training and exercise selection. Similar to hamstring strains, improving the strength and flexibility of the calf muscles can help to reduce injury risk. Monitoring running frequency and volume using GPS or running volume data is also important as athletes can adjust volume and frequency of exposure to specific velocities, accelerations/decelerations, and cutting exercises to mitigate risk. Balancing load and protecting workload even after returning to play can help prevent subsequent injury, especially for athletes with increased risk factors for calf injuries.
Ultimately, players can optimise their athletic performance and reduce injury risk by focusing on these strategies: 1) Improve strength, flexibility, and tolerance to load to avoid hamstring strains.2) Modify training and exercise selection to reduce the risk of calf strains.
By following these tips, players can minimise their risk of injury and continue to perform at their best.
Are you an athlete looking to optimize your performance and minimise the risk of injury?
If so, it might be time to consider enlisting the help of an Accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach or a team of specialists who can provide personalised training programs and guidance on injury prevention strategies tailored to your individual needs and goals. At MCAP, we have qualified coaches and specialists who can help you achieve your athletic potential. Don’t let injuries hold you back from your goals. Take the first step towards better performance and injury prevention by seeking out our coaching services today.
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