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Changes in muscle activation following balance and technique training and a season of Australian football

Donnelly, C.J., Elliott, B.C., Doyle, T.L.A., Finch, C.F., Dempsey, A.R. and Lloyd, D.G. (2015) Changes in muscle activation following balance and technique training and a season of Australian football. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 18 (3). pp. 348-352.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2014.04.012
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Abstract

Objectives: Determine if balance and technique training implemented adjunct to 1001 male Australian football players’ training influenced the activation/strength of the muscles crossing the knee during pre-planned and unplanned sidestepping.
Design: Randomized Control Trial.
Methods: Each Australian football player participated in either 28 weeks of balance and technique training or ‘sham’ training. Twenty-eight Australian football players (balance and technique training, n = 12; ‘sham’ training, n = 16) completed biomechanical testing pre-to-post training. Peak knee moments and directed co-contraction ratios in three degrees of freedom, as well as total muscle activation were calculated during pre-planned and unplanned sidestepping.
Results: No significant differences in muscle activation/strength were observed between the ‘sham’ training and balance and technique training groups. Following a season of Australian football, knee extensor (p = 0.023) and semimembranosus (p = 0.006) muscle activation increased during both pre-planned sidestepping and unplanned sidestepping. Following a season of Australian football, total muscle activation was 30% lower and peak valgus knee moments 80% greater (p = 0.022) during unplanned sidestepping when compared with pre-planned sidestepping.
Conclusions: When implemented in a community level training environment, balance and technique training was not effective in changing the activation of the muscles crossing the knee during side stepping. Following a season of Australian football, players are better able to support both frontal and sagittal plane knee moments. When compared to pre-planned sidestepping, Australian football players may be at increased risk of anterior cruciate ligament injury during unplanned sidestepping in the latter half of an Australian football season.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2014 Sports Medicine Australia
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/22586
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