Effect of plyometric training on lower limb biomechanics in females
Female athletes participating in jumping and pivoting sports are at much greater risk for noncontact ACL injury compared to male counterparts with a major factor being poor dynamic control in knee and hip joints. Recent studies showed that neuromuscular programs are effective in preventing female ACL injuries and the importance of the plyometric component. However, no studies have evaluated the biomechanical effects of plyometric training.
The study authors investigated the effects of plyometric training on lower limb kinematics in healthy females. 36 healthy young females who participated in athletic activity at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes volunteered for the study and were randomly assigned to training and control groups. They were tested before and after an 8 week intervention period with tests involving kinematic (single leg squat) and isokinetic and functional (triple hop and 6-m timed hop) assessments. During the 8 week intervention period the athletes underwent a total of 24 training sessions aimed at improving jump technique.
The authors found only the training group had significantly decreased knee abduction, hip adduction and increased value in triple hop test. They concluded that plyometric training alters lower limb biomechanics and increases eccentric hip torque and functional performance. From Baldon et al., Clin J Sports Med 24 (2014) 44-50. All rights reserved to Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
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