Purpose: We aimed to investigate the effect of FIFA 11+ (11+) and HarmoKnee injury preventive warm-up programs on conventional strength ratio (CSR), dynamic control ratio (DCR) and fast/slow speed ratio (FSR) in young male professional soccer players. These ratios are related to the risk of injury to the knee in soccer players.
Methods: Thirty-six players were divided into 3 groups; FIFA 11+, HarmoKnee and control (n = 12 per group). These exercises were performed 3 times per week for 2 months (24 sessions). The CSR, DCR and FSR were measured before and after the intervention.
Results: After training, the CSR and DCR of knee muscles in both groups were found to be lower than the published normal values (0.61, 0.72, and 0.78 during 60°.s(-1), 180°.s(-1) and 300°.s(-1), respectively). The CSR (60°.s(-1)) increased by 8% and FSR in the quadriceps of the non-dominant leg by 8% in the 11+. Meanwhile, the DCR in the dominant and non-dominant legs were reduced by 40% and 30% respectively in the 11+. The CSR (60°.s(-1)) in the non-dominant leg showed significant differences between the 11+, HarmoKnee and control groups (p = 0.02). As for the DCR analysis between groups, there were significant differences in the non-dominant leg between both programs with the control group (p = 0.04). For FSR no significant changes were found between groups.
Conclusions: It can be concluded that the 11+ improved CSR and FSR, but the HarmoKnee program did not demonstrate improvement. We suggest adding more training elements to the HarmoKnee program that aimed to enhance hamstring strength (CSR, DCR and FSR). Professional soccer players have higher predisposition of getting knee injuries because hamstring to quadriceps ratio were found to be lower than the average values. It seems that the 11+ have potentials to improve CSR and FSR as well as prevent knee injuries in soccer players.