Objective: 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: 21 high-school female volleyball players (14 TMNT, mean age 15.4 (1.4) years, weight 170.5 (5.0) cm, height 64.1 (8.5) kg and 7 controls, mean age 16.0 (1.7) years, height 173.4 (10.0) cm, weight 63.9 (5.3) kg; p>0.05) were recruited to participate in this study. The 14 TNMT subjects participated in a TNMT protocol (twice weekly) over a 10 week period in addition to their standard once-weekly off-season strength training. Standing isokinetic hip abduction strength and seated knee flexion/extension strength were measured before 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% in the dominant leg: mean (SD) 46.6 (10.1) to 52.9 (11.4) foot-pounds and 17.1% in the non-dominant leg: 46.1 (10.4) to 54.0 (10.7) foot-pounds; p = 0.01). There was no difference in the control group in pre-test 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 limb alignment and decrease knee loads resulting from increased trunk displacement during sports activities.
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