The Effects of an 8-week Integrated Neuromuscular Training Programme on Pre-Pubescent Female Gymnasts’ ACL Injury Risk
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Previous research has demonstrated the effectiveness of integrated neuromuscular training (INT) programmes on ACL injury risk measures in young females, with a games-specific background. The effects of an INT intervention on pre-pubescent gymnasts’ core strength (flexor and extensor maximum holds), movement competency (Functional Movement Screening), leg stiffness (sub-maximal hopping) and Time to Stabilisation (TTS) remain unclear. Thirty-six pre-pubescent female gymnasts participated and were divided equally into a training or control group, according to the days they trained already on. The training group followed an 8-week INT programme, twice a week, whilst the control continued with their usual training schedule. Core strength, movement competency, leg stiffness and time to stabilisation (TTS) measures were collected pre and post the intervention. The training group made significant improvements (P< 0.05) in core strength measures, not seen in the control. The training group maintained leg stiffness whilst the control’s significantly decreased (P< 0.05). Movement competency improved in the training group (median values of functional movement screening increased from 1 to 2), but remained the same for the control. There were significant (P< 0.05) decreases in TTS for the non-dominant leg of both groups, but only a significant (P< 0.05) reduction in TTS for the control group’s dominant leg. The study provides evidence to suggest that an integrated neuromuscular training programme which targets several components (core strength, leg stiffness, movement competency and TTS), can produce positive training outcomes which could reduce the risk of ACL injury in young gymnasts.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT CONDITIONING, REHABILITATION AND MASSAGE
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