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Injury Prevention 101: AFL

In AFL (Australian Rules Football), the most prevalent injury is hamstring strain (Orchard & Seward, 2002). This is due to the repetitive high kicking component of the sport, as well as the sprinting and jumping. Also, AFL players run a further distance on average per game than any other major football code, hence muscle endurance is a key factor to consider.

Injury prevention for hamstring strains must include both muscle flexibility and muscle strengthening (especially eccentric strength). Acceleration/deceleration training, glutes strength, and hamstring endurance are also important. Specific exercises should include:

- hamstring flexibility work (various stretches, self myofascial releases)

- strength work for hammies (romanian deadlifts, single leg deadlifts, straight leg extension from a maximal stretch position with pulleys/bands)

- eccentric focused strength (nordic curl variations)

- high velocity hamstring exercises with a deceleration component (weighted high kicks)

- direct glute strength work

- acceleration and deceleration drills that include sharp directions changes Injury prevention is an ongoing process so reach out to one of our caring and friendly Chatswood or North Sydney Physiotherapist to start getting help. You’ll be glad you did!

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