Background It is unknown if learned motor skills as practiced in ACL injury prevention training carry over to other tasks.
Objective Determine if training of a jump-landing task results in transfer of improvement in lower extremity biomechanics during sidestep cutting.
Design Randomized controlled trial.
Setting Controlled laboratory setting, recreational athletes.
Participants Twenty male and twenty female healthy team ball sport athletes were randomly assigned to a verbal internal focus (IF, n=10), verbal external focus (EF, n=10), video (VI, n=10) or control group (CTRL, n=10).
Interventions A jump-landing task was performed at baseline followed by training blocks (TR1 and TR2), an immediate post-test and an one-week retention test. Subjects in the IF, EF and VI groups received group specific instructions in TR1 and TR2. Transfer was determined after one week with a 45° unanticipated sidestep cutting task.
Main Outcome Measurements Hip and knee flexion range of motion (ROM).
Results During sidestep cutting, males in the VI (5.1°±1.0) and CTRL (5.1°±1.0) group showed greater hip flexion ROM compared to the IF (3.7°±0.0) and EF (3.0°±1.5) groups (p<0.05). For females, the VI group (7.0°±1.0) showed greater hip flexion ROM compared to the IF (0.6°±0.0), EF (1.3°±0.7) and CTRL (2.7°±0.0) groups (p<0.05). The EF (males −15.8°±3.9, females −11.0°±3.0) and VI (males −15.1°±2.6, females −16.7°±1.8) groups showed greater knee flexion ROM compared to the IF (males −6.6°±3.9, females −6.0°±1.3) group (p<0.05).
Conclusions Athletes who received VI instructions demonstrated transfer of improved movement technique from jump-landing to sidestep cutting. Adding visual instruction to ACL injury prevention programs seems promising for transfer to sport specific situations.