In association, football, or soccer, flywheel training on the kBox is used in the regular training protocols by head strength & conditioning coaches of many elite teams, including teams in all major premier leagues of Europe as well as the Major League Soccer in the US.
Football coaches use kBoxes with their athletes mainly to develop sprint speed and for injury prevention.
Sprint speed is highly correlated to squat strength, but like most other athletes outside of weightlifting, football players are not very schooled in Olympic lifts or powerlifting. The kBox allows these athletes to perform squats both with high loads and high power in a safe way to increase strength and performance without risking injury.
In prevention, there is mainly focus on hamstring strains which are responsible for a big part of the professional players’ “away from game” time. Two top risk factors for hamstring injuries are the previous injury and low eccentric strength in hamstrings compared to concentric strength in quads, called H:Q ratio. Several elite football teams use the kBox both in preparation and prevention but also in the rehabilitation of hamstrings with great success. Deadlifts and hip extension with eccentric overload target the posterior chain and build strength both in preventing tears but also to boost sprint speed and performance.
The benefits of flywheel training in football, as compared to traditional training with gravity-based equipment, include:
- Easy to train in a group with individual differences in strength and height.
- Effective sessions due to the short time in shifts between users.
- Safe training, less technique dependant.
- Mobility, possible to train in the field combined with play or sprints or to bring on tours and games away to work with the resting or injured players.
- Wide range of training modes: heavy or explosive, uni- or bilateral.
- Train despite upper limb or shoulder injuries using the harness or belt.
- More effective in building functional strength and increase performance than weight stacked machines and traditional free weights.
Clients include top teams in the premier professional football leagues of Europe, such as Real Madrid, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, FC Zenit, Sevilla FC, PFC CSKA Moscow, HSV and Leicester City.
In the US, the kBox users include MLS teams DC United, New York City FC and Seattle Sounders FC, plus NWSL team Chicago Red Stars.
The kBox is also in use by top international academic institutions developing football talents such as the highly respected Quatar-based Aspire Academy, which also conducts studies of hamstring strains in football.
For an interview with a Nordic elite strength coach on using the kBox in football training, see this video.
Professional football players Rasmus Elm and Pontus Wernbloom of CSKA Moscow featured on the kBox in Swedish national newspaper Aftonbladet.