Summary of the article focused on relationship between training load and the risk of sustaing injury in male professional soccer (football) players.
33 male field players from one club aged 25.4(±3.1) (English Premier League).
3 years of data, 61 individual soccer seasons
Sports injuries (“injury caused any absence from future football participation, that is, a time loss injury”, reported by club doctor and senior physiotherapist), their location, severity and type (overall, contact, non-contact)
workload (GPS), chronic workload (previous 4-week average of weekly workloads), ACWR (Acute:chronic workload ratio)
total distance covered [m], number of accelerations, number of decelarations, high-speed distance [m], low intensity distance [m], sprint distance [m]
ACWR – Acute:chronic workload ratio = a ratio of traning load acummulated over the recent week and the training load accumulated over the previous 4 weeks
- In 61 individual soccer seasons, 132 injuries (13.3/1000 hours; 4820 days missed) were recorded. Knee injuries were the most common with 69% being non-contact. Ankle injuries were the most common of contact injuries. Game injuries were 5 times more common than practice injuries (33.7/1000 h vs 5.8/1000h).
- The highest overall injury risk was related to ACWRs above 2.0 combined with a low chronic workload of accelerations, decelerations and low-intensity distance.
- The risk of non-contact injury was 5-7 times higher for low chronic workloads combined with ACWRs above 2.14 for total distance, low-intensity distance, accelerations and decelerations when compared with lower ACWR (<2.14).
- The risk for contact injuries was the highest with ACWR between 1.1 and 1.5 for total distance, decelerations and low-intensity distance. Also, weekly accumulation of total distance between 24,000 adn 30,500 meters and decelerations between 1300 and 1800 increase risk for contact injury.
High risk for different types of injuries in professional soccer:
Take home message
Bowen L, Gross AS, Gimpel M, Bruce-Low S, Li FX. Spikes in acute: chronic workload ratio (ACWR) associated with a 5–7 times greater injury rate in English Premier League football players: a comprehensive 3-year study. British journal of sports medicine. 2020 54:731-738.