The ACTIVATE GAA Warm-up was developed by Sports Institute Northern Ireland (SINI), Ulster GAA coaches and an expert group of Sports Medicine Professionals (including County team Physiotherapists, Physicians and Orthopaedic Knee Consultants) to reduce what appears to be an increasing number of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in our playing population.
Current injury surveillance data suggest that one male per squad will tear their cruciate every other season, with females at even greater risk. An ACL injury can be devastating as this type of injury is accompanied by long disability time and high cost as compared with other common athletic injuries.
The warm-up has been adapted from FIFA’s successful 11+ programme to meet the specific needs of GAA players and is appropriate for use with GAA Football, Hurling and Camogie squads.
Strong evidence demonstrates that by coaching movement and running skills, increasing leg and trunk strength and by optimising landing, cutting and deceleration mechanics we can significantly reduce injuries to the groin, hamstring, knee and ankle. The most compliant coaches and squads i.e. those who perform the exercises regularly with good technique have the least injuries and have more players available for matches.
Why a warm up?
Warm ups allow the coach an opportunity to regularly expose squads to injury prevention exercises. Warm-ups facilitate the “switching on” and activation of the correct muscles and motor patterns in preparation for intense activity.