The injury: Shoulder
Why me? Because of their save-ready posture, goalkeepers often trap the rotator cuff tendons in their shoulders.
What to avoid : Stop all chest exercises and activities that challenge you to bring your arms above your head.
How can I stay fit? Keepers need to be able to perform sharp, explosive movements, so focus on plyometric workouts. Perform box jumps (start with a 12- inch box) and split squats. Perform two sets of 5-6 reps. Improve your agility and quick feet by picking up a skipping rope. Jump for 30 reps swinging the rope forward. Rest for 30 seconds, and then go for another 30. Rest again. That’s one set. Perform eight sets.
More after the break
The injury: Ankle
Why me? Sunday league pitches can be uneven and unstable, often forcing your ankle ligaments to overstretch.
What to avoid : Stay off your damaged foot for a full 24 hours to allow any internal bleeding and swelling to stop.
How can I stay fit? Swimming is great for fitness and the extra compression from the water will help reduce swelling around the ankle. To maintain fitness, swim at maximum effort for 10 seconds, stop, tread water for 10, then go again increasing the duration to 20 seconds, followed by a 20-second recovery period. Repeat until the sprint time reaches 60 seconds. Then work back down the pyramid training times.
The injury: Hamstring
The hamstring is vital for sprinting. When it doesn’t have enough strength or flexibility, it breaks down.
What to avoid: Sitting around. After you’ve applied compression and ice during the first 24 hours, engage in some early mobilisation to stop excess scarring.
How can I stay fit? Get on an exercise bike once you can walk comfortably. Cycle on a low resistance for 20 minutes. This will work aerobic fitness and help mobilise the muscle. Boxing is another option. Hit a bag for 15 seconds at maximum effort, rest for 15 and go again. Do this for three minutes. Then rest a minute and shadow box for two minutes with minimal footwork. Repeat three times.
The injury: Groin
Why me? Football involves a large variety of multi-directional movements, which place huge demands on the groin and stabilising muscles around your pelvis. This repeated stress can eventually cause an injury.
What to avoid : Traditional core exercises – sit-ups, crunches – don’t help, as they can create an imbalance around the pelvis.
How can I stay fit? Exercises that work the glutes and adductors are essential. Linear (straight line) movements should be fine. Jump on an exercise bike and cycle for six minutes on low to medium resistance, performing 130 revolutions per minute. Rest for two minutes and repeat. Do this six times.
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