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The effects of soccer training and timing of balance training on balance ability

Gioftsidou, Asimenia, Malliou, Paraskevi, Pafis, G., Beneka, Anastasia, Godolias, George and Maganaris, Constantinos N. (2006) The effects of soccer training and timing of balance training on balance ability. European journal of applied physiology, 96 (6). pp. 659-64. ISSN 1439-6319

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The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of a soccer training session on the balance ability of the players and assess whether the effectiveness of a balance program is affected by its performance before or after the regular soccer training. Thirty-nine soccer players were randomly divided into three subject groups (n=13 each), one control group (C group), one training group that followed a balance program (12 weeks, 3 times per week, 20 min per session) before the regular soccer training (TxB group), and one training group that performed the same balance program after the soccer training (TxA group). Standard testing balance boards and the Biodex Stability System were used to assess balance ability in the C, TxB, and TxA groups at baseline (T0) and after completing the balance program (T12). The same tests and additional isokinetic knee joint moment measurements were carried out in the TxB and TxA groups pre- and post-soccer training. Two main results were obtained: (1) No differences (p>0.05) were found in balance ability and knee joint moment production between pre- and post-soccer training. (2) The balance program increased (p<0.01) the balance ability in the TxB and TxA groups, and the improvement in the TxA group was greater (p<0.05) than that in the TxB group post-soccer training. Result (1) is in contrast to the notion of a link between fatigue induced by a soccer training session or game and injury caused by impaired balance, and result (2) has implications for athletic training and rehabilitation.

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