Objectives: The objective was to determine the effect of trunk focused neuromuscular training (TNMT) on hip and knee strength. The hypothesis was that TNMT would increase standing isokinetic hip abduction, but not knee flexion/extension, strength.
Methods: Twenty-one (TMNT n=14: 15.4 ± 1.4 yrs, 170.5 ± 5.0 cm, 64.1 ± 8.5 kg; CTRL n =7: 16.0 ± 1.7 yrs, 173.4 ± 10.0 cm, 63.9 ± 5.3 kg; p>0.05) high school female volleyball players were recruited to participate in this study. Fourteen participated in TNMT protocol (2 X/wk) over a ten week period in addition to their standard off-season strength training (1X/wk). Standing isokinetic hip abduction strength and seated knee flexion/extension strength were measured prior to and after TNMT.
Results: A significant interaction of group and time was observed. The TNMT group increased isokinetic hip abduction strength approximately 15% (13.5% dominant leg: 46.6 ± 10.1 to 52.9 ± 11.4 ft-lbs and 17.1% in the non-dominant leg: 46.1 ± 10.4 to 54.0 ± 10.7 ft-lbs; p = 0.01). There was no difference in the control group in pre- versus post-test measures. Post-test results also indicated no effect of TNMT on isokinetic knee extension (p=0.57) or knee flexion (p=0.57) strength.
Conclusions: Ten weeks of TNMT increased standing hip abduction strength in female athletes. Increased hip abduction strength and recruitment may improve the ability of female athletes to increase control of lower extremity alignment and decrease loads resulting from increased trunk displacement during sports activities.