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01: DOES A ‘PREVENT INJURY AND ENHANCE PERFORMANCE’ PROGRAMME (PEP) CHANGE THE NEUROMUSCULAR CONTROL IN YOUNG FEMALE ACROBATIC GYMNASTS?
Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health, University College London, UK
Aims The primary aim of this interventional study was to identify if a PEP1 is an effective neuromuscular training intervention to change neuromuscular control (NMC) of the lower limb in young female acrobatic gymnasts. Secondary aims were to identify if the gymnast's perceived a change in their own strength, physical sporting ability (PSA), self-esteem or physical self-worth (PSW) following this neuromuscular training method.
Methods Fifty-four female acrobatic gymnasts, mean age 11.43 years (±2.96 range 7–18 years), height 1.44 (±0.16 SD) metres, mean weight 37.4 kg (±13.35 SD), were recruited. All participants were assessed through 2-dimensional video analysis using the Qualitative Analysis of Single Leg Squat Scoring tool2 (QASLS) and The Children and Youth Self-Perception Questionnaire3 (CY-PSPP). Outcome measures were completed pre- and post- an eight week PEP intervention. The PEP was completed up to three times a week, prior to standard acrobatic training, within the competitive season.
Results Post-interventional analysis observed a significant improvement in the QASLS score on both the right (p=0.001) and left lower limb (p=0.001) of female gymnasts. The CY-PSPP questionnaire showed significant improvement in gymnast's perception of their strength (p=0.013), PSA (p=0.002) and self-esteem (p=0.013). No significance was observed in PSW (p=0.164).
Conclusions An 8-week PEP showed a significant effect in increasing young female acrobatic gymnasts NMC whilst performing a single leg squat. The PEP, as a method of neuromuscular training, demonstrated significant improvement in gymnast's self-perception of strength, PSA and self-esteem. Gymnastics is a sport dominated by childhood and adolescent age groups. Effective injury prevention strategies are vital to protect the health of young gymnasts. These results demonstrate that a PEP incorporating neuromuscular training interventions during childhood and pre-adolescence can positively improve young female gymnasts' NMC.
1. Mandelbaum BR, Silvers HJ, …