Balance improvements in female high school basketball players after a 6-week neuromuscular-training program

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Journal of Sport Rehabilitation


Context: Poor balance has been associated with increased injury risk among athletes. Neuromuscular-training programs have been advocated as a means of injury prevention, but little is known about the benefits of these programs on balance in high school athletes. Objective: To determine whether there are balance gains after participation in a neuromuscular-training program in high school athletes. Design: Nonrandomized controlled trial. Setting: All data were collected at each participating high school before and after a 6-wk intervention or control period. Participants: 62 female high school basketball players recruited from the local high school community and assigned to a training (n = 37) or control (n = 25) group. Intervention: Training-group subjects participated in a 6-wk neuromuscular-training program that included plyometric, functional-strengthening, balance, and stability-ball exercises. Main Outcome Measures: Data were collected for the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) and Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) before and after the 6-wk intervention or control period. Results: The authors found a significant decrease in total BESS errors in the trained group at the posttest compared with their pretest and the control group (P = .003). Trained subjects also scored significantly fewer BESS errors on the singlefoam and tandem-foam conditions at the posttest than the control group and demonstrated improvements on the single-foam compared with their pretest (P = .033). The authors found improvements in reach in the lateral, anteromedial, medial, and posterior directions in the trained group at the posttest compared with the control group (P <.05) using the SEBT. Conclusion: The study demonstrates that a neuromusculartraining program can increase the balance and proprioceptive capabilities of female high school basketball players and that clinical balance measures are sensitive to detect these differences. © 2009 Human Kinetics, Inc.

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