The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of a trunk stabilization exercise warm-up program in reducing the incidence of lower extremity injuries among male junior soccer players. Two junior soccer teams participated in this study. The intervention (INT) team performed three trunk stabilization exercises before practice sessions and games, while a control (CON) team performed their usual warm-up without trunk exercises. Both teams engaged in regular soccer training and games, and were followed for the incidence of injury. As a result, overall injury incidence rates (IRs) were 2.65 injuries/1,000 h and 4.94 injuries/1,000 h in the INT and CON teams, respectively (incidence rate ratio [IRR]=0.54, 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.32-0.89, p=0.013). The IR of acute injuries was significantly lower in the INT team (1.91 injuries/1,000 h) than in the CON team (4.06 injuries/1,000 h) (IRR=0.47, 95%CI=0.26-0.84, p=0.009). Regarding injury sites, the IRs of ankle injuries in the INT team (0.32 injuries/1,000 h) were significantly lower than that in the CON team (2.28 injuries/1,000 h) (IRR=0.14, 95%CI=0.04-0.47, p<0.001). These results suggest that a warm-up program comprising trunk stabilization exercises alone can prevent acute injuries, especially ankle injuries.
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