At The Healthy Body Company we love Touch Footy and our big boss Steve Cunningham has been involved with Touch NSW and Touch Football Australia for over 23 years now. Such a longstanding relationship means that our team has seen our fair share of touch footy injuries at tournaments and through our clinics.
“The nature of Touch Footy involves lots of speed, quick direction changes and acceleration, agility, flexibility and endurance”
The most common touch footy injuries we see include sprains of ligaments, particularly of the ankle and knees when players have awkward landing techniques or poor dynamic control during change of direction. Some overuse injuries of the lower limb are common, such as shin splints, Achilles tendinopathy, stress fractures and patellar femoral pain syndrome. The hamstrings are renowned for copping strains especially during dumps and trys. Often players can get lower back pain or strains from this same mechanism too. And of course, who can forget the shoulder injuries. We’ve seen many dislocated shoulders and AC joint sprains/ruptures during tournaments usually by those players determined to make or break a score a try.
Steph Cummins one of our physios who has worked with the NSW and Aussie teams has put together some exercises for stretching and strengthening for Touch Players.
Stretching + Strengthen – when and how much?
Stretching can be (and ideally should be!) done every day and especially following every training session and game. Stretches need to be held for at least 30 seconds!! The hamstrings need good flexibility and so do your gluteal and hip flexor muscles.
Adding in some of the strengthening and agility exercises a few times a week during training sessions or outside of training within your own home or gym environment can help to build strength and avoid those injuries listed above.
Have your feet secured to the ground behind you, then slowly and smoothy as possible lower towards the ground using your hamstrings to resist falling. Put out your arms to stop the fall and use them to push yourself upright to repeat. Do 8-12 reps and build up to 2-3 sets.
Hopefully by taking our advice and working through the instructions above and adding in some of these exercises to your usual training routines we see less Touch players injured throughout this year. But, if you are unlucky enough to come down with an injury, be sure to come and see us (we always love seeing our Touch players at The Healthy Body Company!!) so we can work at getting your back on the field sooner rather than later.