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The Effect of Strength Training on the Jump-Landing Biomechanics of Young Female Athletes: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

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Abstract

Objective:

To investigate the effect of leg-focused strength training on the jump-landing mechanics of young female athletes.

Design:

Single-blind, randomized controlled clinical trial.

Setting:

University-based training program.

Participants:

Forty female athletes, 10 to 14 years old, were randomly allocated to intervention or active control.

Interventions:

Twice weekly training was performed by the leg strengthening group [intervention group (IG); n = 19] and the active control group (CG; n = 17), for 12 weeks. Control group participants performed upper body strengthening exercises.

Main Outcome Measure:

Jump-landing performance was assessed by a blinded observer using the Landing Error Scoring System (LESS).

Results:

There was no difference between the IG and CG postintervention (IG mean LESS score 6.0 ± SD 1.8 vs CG mean 6.1 ± SD 1.8; P = 0.85).

Conclusions:

Strength training of the legs does not seem to improve jump-landing abilities in young female athletes compared with active controls who strength-trained their arms.

Clinical Relevance:

Leg strengthening may not provide an advantage over arm strengthening for improving jump-landing movement patterns in young female athletes. This has implications for the design of conditioning programs if injury prevention is a goal.

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