How Practicing Your Landing Technique Can Prolong Your Football Career
A safe and effective landing technique can be the difference between you reaching that 50/50 ball, and avoiding a number of nasty/preventable impact injuries (ACL injury for example).
Even in a player with good landing mechanics (absorbing through the ankles, knees and hips) who is able to softly absorb the shock of landing, the body still has to endure a force 3/4 x their bodyweight, which of course increases further if initially landing on one leg or falling from a greater height.
Compare this to a player who lands stiffly with poor technique, and consequently experiences a force as much as 6/8 x their bodyweight.
By practicing your landing technique and training eccentrically to generate greater tension and landing power, not only is your risk of injury greatly reduced but your ability to react powerfully towards the next ball or player is enhanced.
Here are some simple guidelines to follow:
- Perform a thorough warmup including glute activation exercises - such as glute bridge raises (found in our bodyweight training guide)
- Start with a series of low jumps, trying to land as softly as you can with depth
- Land using your whole foot, keeping your weight evenly distributed from heel to toe
- Ensure your knees are not caving in or falling outward but are in line with the toes
- Shift your weight back so that your knees are behind your toes upon landing
- Focus on your glutes throughout the movement
- Gradually increase the height of your jumps over several weeks
- Perform between 20-30 reps divided into 2/3 sets
- Stop if you begin to feel fatigued and technique begins to suffer