Utility of the anterior reach y-balance test as an injury risk screening tool in elite male youth soccer players
Lloyd, Rhodri S.
De Ste Croix, Mark
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Objectives: Examine growth and maturation trends in dynamic balance using the anterior reach Y-Balance test, and its utility as an injury risk screening tool. Design: Cross sectional and prospective cohort. Setting: Elite male youth soccer players. Participants: 346 players grouped as pre, circa or post peak height velocity (PHV). Main outcome measures: Pre-season anterior reach absolute and relative Y-Balance test scores and seasonal prospective lower extremity injury monitoring. Results: Absolute reach distances were greatest post-PHV (p < 0.05). Relative to leg length, pre-PHV achieved the highest scores and increased between-limb differences. Significant associations between injury and anterior reach scores were present in pre (OR: 0.94, CI: 0.91 - 0.98, p < 0.05) and circa-PHV (OR: 1.05, 95% CI: 1.05 – 1.10, p < 0.05). Increased age (OR: 1.49, 95% CI: 1.04 – 2.13, p < 0.05) and height (OR: 1.06, 95% CI: .99 – 1.13, p = 0.82) were risk factors post-PHV. No differences in injury occurrence were shown between players with absolute reach difference > 4 cm in any group. Conclusions: Anterior reach scores increased injury risk, but associations were small and inconsistent. The Y-Balance should be used with caution as a screening tool in this cohort.
Physical Therapy in Sport;
Article accepted for publication in Physical Therapy in Sport.
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
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