Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Best Stretches Before Football Practice

best stretches to warm up football practice

Stretching gets the body ready for the workout you are about to start. Stretching is most important before starting football practice. Not stretching can lead to injury. Here are the best stretches to do 10 reps of before you start practicing!

  • Walking Knee Hugs: This will stretch your hips and glutes. Get on your toes for each hug to stretch your calf muscles and help improve your balance.
  • Dynamic Lunge with Rotation: This will stretch and open up your hips and increase t-spine mobility. This stretch will help increase mobility for better sprinting and reduces injuries. This will also keep your t-spine from locking up, when it locks up and cannot rotate correctly your lower back will rotate instead which could cause injury.
  • Inverted Hamstring: This stretch activates your glutes and warms up your hamstrings.
  • Hip Rotations: This stretch keeps your legs and hips stable.
  • Lateral Lunges: This stretch activates the gluteus medius or the “side butt.” Commonly overlooked, when this muscle is weak knee injury is more likely.
  • Backward Skips: Engages your glutes. Important for sprinting power and reduces the rick of a hamstring injury. You can also swing your arms back loosely to increase mobility in the shoulders.
  • Inchworms: Activates and stretches the core, abs, back and hips for sprinting. The key is to keep your back and hips straight, never let your hips sway. Not a fun drill but well worth it for sprinters. It will maintain a tight core that will keep a sprinter from losing energy while running.
  • A-Runs: To increase range of motion while sprinting. You can also do the Carioca for more lateral movements.
  • Backward Lunge Reach and Twist: Keeps the quads and the muscle in the front of the hip that goes to the abdomen stretched. This also increases hip, shoulder and T-spine mobility.
  • Backpedal: Helps engage the glutes and works athletic stance. Very important for linebackers and defensive backs.

No Helmets During Practice Equals No Concussions?

tackle Concussions helmets

Could football practice without helmets help prevent concussions?

A new study as found that practicing without helmets could actually lower the amount of concussions. It may sound counter intuitive but the idea behind it is actually so that during practice players will be much less likely to use their head as a weapon. Practice without a helmet can teach the players to be more cautious with their heads. With the technology of helmets getting more and more sophisticated, players could feel better about being risky with their head, because they feel protected. The study believes that players who practice without helmets will not feel protected under a helmet so they will learn to avoid getting their head injured and overtime will develop muscle memory that will reduce the amount of head impacts they get during a game. Currently, the study is limited though. The study is unable to provide data supporting that practice without helmets reduces the amount of head impacts throughout a season.

Magnets in Helmets?

football helmets magnet technology

Magnets in Helmets Might Make Football Safer

A new football helmet design with a radical idea could possibly prevent concussions during helmet to helmet impacts by using magnets. The idea behind it is that each helmet would be equipped with a magnet. During a head to the head collision they would repel from each other and slow the impact force before contact. Tests are being conducted with rare-earth element neodymium magnets from China, which are the most powerful commercially available magnet. These can repel up to 100lbs of force when repelling from the opposite pole and weigh a third of a pound (compared to the 3.5 to 5 pound helmets). While these safety feature would add to existing ones it also would add $50 to $100 in price. If the magnets make it through field tests, they could theoretically reduce the relative risk of concussions by up to 80 percent without changing the appearance or intensity of the game. See the full story here.

NCAA Concussion Study

concussion

Concussions Get More Attention

The NCAA and the Department of Defense released an info-graphic which summarizes their newest study on concussions. After the release of the new film Concussion with Will Smith playing as the concussion researcher Dr.Bennet Omalu there has been a renewed interest in degenerative brain damage caused by repeated concussions.  The new study found that football isn’t the sport with the most concussions! The following list are incidents per 10,000 events, practices, games, etc.

  • Wrestling: 10.9
  • Men’s ice hockey: 7.9
  • Women’s ice hockey: 7.5
  • Football: 6.7
  • Women’s soccer: 6.3

ncaa concussion study

 

Science of Football Cleats

cleats

The reason you slip while walking or running is a lack of friction with the ground under your feet.  Friction is the force that happens when two objects are rubbed together which gets you moving forward, backward, whatever direction you push. Cleats are designed to give a player more friction with the ground. There are two types of friction, static friction and kinetic friction.

Static friction is the force between two objects that are not moving relative to each other. This means in order to move you must be able to overcome the initial force. This is the force and friction a wide receiver must overcome when he breaks off the line. If the force trying to move the object is less than the force of the static friction, then the object trying to move will not be able to go anywhere.

Kinetic friction is the force between two surfaces that are moving relative to each other. Once an object has overcome static friction and is moving it then has kinetic friction acting on it resisting it’s motion. Cleats help football players maintain traction when kinetic friction is acting on them.

Traction is the friction between an object and the surface they are moving on. To increase traction you must maximize friction. If you apply more force to the surface you are moving on, you will increase the friction between you and the surface, this provides you with more traction.

Cleats are designed to increase the traction of a football player on the ground and protect the player from muscle injury. In the event that a player does slip, the cleats are designed to help protect the muscles in a player’s feet to help keep them from injury.

Smaller NFL Shoulder Pads

shoulder pads

Have you noticed over the years that NFL shoulder pads have shrunk? This isn’t because of strange budget cuts, it is because of advancement in technology. The pads are now able to be smaller yet more protective. Over the past 15 years the pads have shrunk by 50%, which is much better than the 1980 pads that nearly engulfed the player’s head.

Players often skipped over leg and thigh pads but then the NFL made them a requirement. Technological breakthroughs in the plastic and the foam harnesses used allowed manufacturers to create lighter and smaller shoulder pads. The NFL stated that there has been no change in shoulder related injuries due to the smaller pads and the manufacturers stated that they have maintained the same commitment to safety.

Shoulder pads today weigh less than four pounds, compared to six to eight pounds 15 years ago and are thinner, flatter, more flexible and more resistant to becoming waterlogged with sweat.