The Influence of Proprioceptive Exercises on Lower Limb Balance of Football Players.
University of Wales
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Objectives: To determine whether an eight week proprioceptive training programme can improve lower limb balance levels of football players. It was hypothesised that subjects within the intervention group would have a statistically significant difference in their lower limb balance scores in the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT), following the eight weeks of proprioception training. Background: This study aims to prove whether football players can improve their dynamic balance levels from performing proprioceptive exercises, and thus decrease the risks of injury. This is reinforced by previous studies that have concluded that greater levels of proprioception and/or dynamic balance can significantly decrease the amount of injuries sustained by football players. Methods: A total number of 30 healthy, uninjured football players were used (15 intervention, 15 control). All subjects performed the SEBT at two different time stages- before and after the intervention. Subjects within the intervention group performed proprioceptive exercises for 30 minutes every week for eight weeks; exercises were progressed every week. The control group continued with their normal training for the same time period. A two-way independent ANOVA was conducted to determine the interaction between the group and time conditions. Results: Main findings show that the Anterior (p=0.156), Anterior Medial (p=0.24), and Anterior Lateral (p=0.064) dependent variables did not show any statistical (sic) significant difference between the Group and Time interaction. On the other hand, the Medial (p=0.05), Posterior Medial (p=0.018), Posterior (p=0.035), Posterior Lateral (p=0.002), and Lateral (p=0.024) dependent variables showed a statistically significant difference between the Group and Time interaction. Therefore the dependent variables that were proved to have statistically significant difference are accepted for the given hypothesis Conclusion: Subjects who performed the proprioceptive exercises did significantly improve their SEBT scores, however only in five of the eight different reaches. Thus, the proprioception training improved dynamic balance in the five stated lower limb movements.
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