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Table 1 Exercise-based prevention strategies for muscle injury in elite footballers and their perceived effectiveness using the Delphi survey technique

From: Exercise-Based Strategies to Prevent Muscle Injury in Male Elite Footballers: An Expert-Led Delphi Survey of 21 Practitioners Belonging to 18 Teams from the Big-5 European Leagues

Preventative strategy Overall rating givena % (n =) Consensus Round introduced Round where consensus was achieved
Sprinting and high-speed running +++ 72 (13) 1st 1st
Eccentric focus ++ 100 (18) 1st 1st
Concentric focus + 94 (17) 1st 1st
Horizontal plyometrics + 89 (16) 1st 1st
Vertical plyometrics + 83 (15) 1st 1st
Isometric focus + 83 (15) 1st 1st
Activation/coordination (e.g. sprint movement/mechanic drills) + 83 (15) 1st 1st
Dynamic flexibility + 78 (14) 1st 1st
Core stability + 78 (14) 1st 1st
Static flexibility + 78 (14) 1st 2nd
Multi-joint exercises (e.g. olympic lifting, squats, functional strength exercises) Between + to +++ No consensusa 2nd No consensus after 2nd round
Simultaneous training of single-leg strength and stability Between + to +++ No consensusa 2nd No consensus after 2nd round
Agility Between + to +++ No consensusa 1st No consensus after 2nd round
Kicking (shooting, hard, long passes) Between − to +++ No consensusa 1st No consensus after 2nd round
Resisted sprints (e.g. sled, parachute) Between + to +++ No consensusa 1st No consensus after 2nd round
  1. Key: (+++) very effective, (++) effective, (+) somewhat effective, (−) not effective
  2. Multi-joint exercises—0/8/4/6
  3. Single leg strength and stability—0/7/7/4
  4. Agility—0/6/5/6 (1 person did not specify)
  5. Kicking—2/11/4/0 (1 person did not specify)
  6. Resisted sprints—2/10/4/1 (1 person did not specify)
  7. aSpecific responses (n =) for those not finding consensus based on likert scale (not effective/somewhat effective/effective/very effective)