New warm-up regime may help reduce rugby injuries

There is a series of exercises which, when performed before matches, can seriously reduce the chances of injury. The programme, called Activate, has been formed by health researchers from England Rugby, and the University of Bath. The results, which were published recently, suggest that exercises can help reduce the risk of lower limb injuries and even concussions.

Researchers followed 81 men’s community rugby teams, and almost 2,000 players over a season in which players took part in the program. The incidences of concussion fell by 60% while lower limb injuries fell by 40%. The more closely players followed the program, the better the results. The best results were whenever teams practiced warm-ups twice a week.

The regime focused on balance, agility, and strength to help prepare players for physical challenges during the matches. It was split into 4 stages, and each stage took around 20 minutes. The exercises were targeted at improving neck strength and lower-limb balance. This helps players deal with the physical requirements of the game. By replacing the stretching exercises players usually perform before a match, there has certainly been a huge decrease in the number of injuries. This is largely because the program focuses on movement control more than anything else.

Combining all the impressive results of this program could lead to a national roll-out of the same. It could end up making a huge impact on the game in the long-term.

Concussions have been the most talked about injury in recent times and while there is little information available on how this program can reduce injuries, the fact that it does is quite interesting.

There are always some concerns regarding rugby injuries and this is only tarnishing the image of the game. Hopefully, with programs like this one, rugby will quickly rise on the popularity index with more women joining in every day.