Football Full back returning to play
- post ACL injury
Amateur football player playing in the full back
Football is an 11- a-side team game which last 90
minutes overall with 45 minutes played in each half
with a 15 minute break in-between. Each team is
allowed 3 substitutions during the game. Individual
and team skills are essential in order for success.
The fitness tests will be specific to football help
indicate wither the athlete is able to return to football
without the risks of re-injury and help improve
Aims & reasons for study:
Designing a training program to enable the athlete to
return to football at pre injured level and help reduce
the risks of future injury especially to the ACL.
Athlete is looking to return to sport in time for the start
Return to pre injured level:
Specifically looking to improve flexibility and balance
and develop strength and speed
Athlete Profile :
Height: 186 cm
Weight: 72 kg
Position: Full back
Level of sport: Amateur Football
Cardiovascular and muscular endurance, strength,
speed, stamina, work rate, marking, tackling,
dribbling, jump ability, balance, awareness,
Current training status:
Good level of fitness. Building back up to football
movements by completing short sharp sprints,
changes of direction and jumping.
Phase of training:
Off-season - In final stages of rehabilitation which
includes 2 individual gym sessions per week – 3
hours; team training once a week – 2 hours, individual
skills-based training once a week – 1 hour
Grade 3 ACL rupture to right knee (September 2012)
requiring surgical repair using hamstring graft in April
2013; follow up operation in 2014 to remove screws
Subject is to fill in consent form that will inform them that they have the right to
withdraw from testing at any point and for any reason. Subject’s height and
weight are to be recorded prior to the commencement of testing. The testing
will be split into several sessions to allow adequate recovery time.
• Yo-Yo Intermittent Endurance Test (Svensson and Drust, 2005)
This football-specific test will examine the subject’s capability to perform
repetitive interval runs over an extended time period. 2 x 20m shuttle run, 5
seconds of active rest. Participant must reach end point in time with
• Equipment: Markers, Measuring tape, Audio device, beep test audio
• Upper body – Bench press
• Lower body – Squat, Deadlift
Subject’s 1RM to be recorded for each lift (Hoff and Helgerud, 2004)
Appropriate weight training programme will be calculated based on the
results of subject’s 1Repetition Maximum.
Power and Strength training (75% - 95% of 1RM)
Endurance training (<60% of 1RM), (Brown, 2007)
• Vertical jump test (Wisloff, 2004)
3 attempts measuring jump height using the Vertical jump meter, arms
crossed across body – pushing solely from the legs
• Equipment: Olympic male bar, plates, bench, Vertical jump meter
(Probotics, Just Jump System, USA)
• Sit and reach test
Subject seated, straight legs and feet vertically up against sit and reach
bench. Subject stretches forwards and slides fingertips up the scale, as
far as possible. Point of furthest reach is recorded. (Plowman and Smith,
• Lower limb flexibility assessment
Goniometric measurements of Hamstring, Quads, Calves, Groin, Hip
flexors (as found in the Witvrouw et al., (2003) study)
• Equipment: Sit and Reach Bench (Cranlea, United Kingdom), Goniometer
• Balance board test
Single legged stance on balance board, crossed arms across chest.
Unsupported limb not be in contact with balance board. Time balancing
on the board will be assessed and timer stopped when edge of board
contacts the ground. 3 trial runs given before completing 3 full tests. Best
result being carried forward. (Gioftsidou et al., 2012)
• Equipment: Balance board, Stopwatch
• 40 yard dash (Static start)
Straight line maximal 40 yard sprint in order to assess subject
acceleration and speed. Also valuable for testing subject’s reaction time.
1:3 work to rest ratio. (Jeffreys, 2013)
• Illinois agility test
Agility course marked out by cones which combines acceleration, cutting,
slaloming and several changes of direction. (Dawes and Roozen, 2012)
• Equipment: Timing gates (Fusion Sport, Smart Speed, Australia),
markers, tape measure
• Football is an intermittent sport that requires aerobic endurance, speed, power, agility and flexibility (Bangsbo et al., 2006)
• Defenders will spend 5.68% standing, 56.68% walking, 27.67% jogging, 6.16% running, 1.49% high speed running and 0.32%
sprinting (Wehbe et al., 2014)
• Full backs cover a total of 220m while in possession of the ball, in comparison to other positions only wide midfielders cover
significantly more distance (Di Salvo et al., 2007)
• Defenders perform 41.9% of a game performing purposeful movements, higher than other position. Of the purposeful
movements defenders perform significantly more turns and swerves than other positions (Bloomfield et al., 2007).
• Defenders accelerate at the same frequency as midfielders and significantly more than attackers as they are required to stop
attacks and close down attackers rapidly (Wehbe et al., 2014)
• Full backs sprint for a total of 287m during a game which is significantly higher than central defenders, central midfielders and
attackers (Bradley et al., 2009)
• Defenders will head the ball more times than other positions due to preventing attacks and clearing crosses (Bloomfield et al.,
• Football incorporates periods of high intensity exercise combined with periods of lower intensity exercise (Svensson & Drust,
• Defenders require power within the lower body to improve their ability at defending high balls and crosses (Miller et al., 2011).
• Blood lactate concentration values for full backs have been recorded at 9.8 ± 2.7 mmol . L -1 meaning anaerobic glycoloisis is
the main system used by the players (Boone et al., 2012).
• Mean heart rate values for a defender has been recorded at 141 bpm (Bangsbo et al., 2006)
• It has been recorded that full backs will cover 10710 ± 589m during a 90 minute game (Bradley et al., 2009)
• Distance covered during the first half is 5239m compared to 4824m being covered in the second half (Wehbe et al., 2014)
• Average oxygen uptake for footballers is valued at 70% of VO2max (Bangsbo et al., 2006)
• A study by Peterson et al., (2000) has reported that defenders have the highest incidence rate of injuries, with an injury
occurring every 9.4 hours per 1000 exposure hours.
• A third of all injuries suffered by footballers are muscle injuries with 92% of these occurring in the lower limbs (Ekstrand et al.,
• Of the lower limb injuries hamstring is the most frequently muscle injured (37%), adductors (23%), quadriceps (19%) and calf
muscles (13%) (Ekstrand et al., 2011)
• Injuries are more likely to occur from no contact (65%) compared to contact injuries (35%) (Hagglund et al., 2009)
• Only 9% of injuries were classified as severe, and the majority of injuries being of minimal severity (36%) (Hagglund et al.,
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