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The progression to functional activities can begin once the patient can jog without pain and is comfortable doing plyometric drills. The idea of this stage is to progress from gentle exercise to the high intensity at which games are played. All exercises are preceded by a warm up.

A Guide to Warming Up

Since each exercise is a progression, they should be completed at least one day apart.

EXERCISE 1

Variable pace running with the gradual introduction of turns.

This involves running round a 20m diameter figure-of-eight course. The figure-of-eight course puts very gentle stress on the knee and prepares the player for later turning drills. The pace is limited to walk, jog or half pace running and is determined by the physiotherapist who shouts out the desired pace. The physiotherapist also shouts the commands stop and start. This re- introduces the player to the variable demands of a game of football.

The session should last about 25 minutes.

EXERCISE 2

Variable pace running with gradual turns and various starting positions.

The player starts at one end of the course and makes a 30m run up to a 20m diameter semicircle, around which they gently turn before completing another straight 30m run back to the finish. The pace of the run is dictated by the physiotherapist and is either a jog or half pace. The starting position should be different for each run (standing, lying on back, lying on front, sprint start position, squatting, right side lying, left side lying, jumping, hopping, facing backwards).

The player should complete 20 runs.

EXERCISE 3

A progression of exercise 1.

Variable pace running with slightly tighter turns. The player runs round a 10m diameter figure-of-eight course. The figure-of-eight course puts stress on the knee and prepares the player for later turning drills. The paces used are walking, jogging, half pace running, or three-quarter pace running and is determined by the physiotherapist who shouts out the desired pace. The physiotherapist also shouts the commands stop and start. This re-introduces the player to the variable demands of a game of football.

The session should last about 25 minutes.

EXERCISE 4

A progression of Exercise 2.

Variable pace running with gradual turns and various starting positions. The player starts at one end of the course and makes a 30m run up to a 20m diameter semicircle, around which they gently turn before completing another straight 30m run back to the finish. The pace of the run is dictated by the physiotherapist and is either three-quarter or full pace. The starting position should be different for each run (standing, lying on back, lying on front, sprint start position, squatting, right side lying, left side lying, jumping, hopping, facing backwards).

The player should complete 20 runs.

EXERCISE 5

Two 5m diameter circles are placed 30m apart. Traveling at full pace the player makes a run, with a football at the feet, goes around the far circle and then back to the finish.

This should be repeated x 20.

EXERCISE 6

As Exercise 5, but single cones are used instead of 5m diameter circles.

EXERCISE 7

Six cones are placed 5m apart in a straight line. The player completes a shuttle run at full pace, turning alternately to the left and right.

This should be repeated x 10.

Before a gradual return to full training the player should be happy with all normal ball work drills, all types of passing (instep, side foot, front foot, outside of foot, side foot volley, laces volley, half volley) over all distances, heading, jumping and heading, and tackling.




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