Objective: To investigate whether a 6-month neuromuscular warm-up programme could improve muscle power, balance, speed and agility.
Design: Cluster randomised controlled study.
Setting: 27 top level female floorball teams in Finland.
Participants: 222 players (mean age 24 years); 119 in the intervention group and 103 in the control group were followed-up for one league season (6 months).
Intervention: A neuromuscular warm-up programme included sports-specific running technique, balance, jumping and strengthening exercises. The teams were advised to use the programme 1–3 times per week through the league season. One training session took ∼25 min.
Main outcome measures: Performance tests were assessed before and after the 6-month intervention and included static jump, countermovement jump, jumping over a bar, standing on a bar and figure-of-eight running.
Results: At 6 months, significant between-group differences were found in two outcome measures: jumping over a bar (number of jumps in 15 s) and standing on a bar (number of balance losses in 60 s). These differences were 2.3 jumps (95% CI 0.8 to 3.8, p = 0.003), favouring the intervention group, and −0.4 balance losses (95% CI −0.8 to 0.0, p = 0.050), again in favour of the intervention group.
Conclusion: A neuromuscular warm-up programme improved the floorball players’ sideways jumping speed and static balance. The exercises were also safe to perform and can thus be recommended for weekly training of floorball players.
Trial registration number: ISRCTN26550281.
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Funding This study was financially supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and the Medical Research Fund of Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland. The funding sources did not have any involvement with the progress of the study. Role of the sponsors: None.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval Obtained from Pirkanmaa District Hospital, Tampere, Finland, 25 May 2004 (ETL-code R04072).
Patient consent Obtained.
Contributors: KP, JP, MP and PK contributed to study conception and design. KP carried out the literature search and coordinated and managed all parts of the study including the arrangements of baseline and follow-up tests and data collection. KP conducted education of the research physiotherapists for testing, data collection and preliminary data preparations. MP conducted data analyses and interpretation of data. KP wrote the first draft of the paper, and all authors provided substantive feedback on the paper and contributed to the final manuscript. KP is guarantor.
Provenance and Peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.