CHANGES IN THE FUNCTIONAL PARAMETERS OF BALANCE AND LOWER EXTREMITIES OF ADOLESCENT SHORT AND LONG DISTANCE RUNNERS AFTER EXERCISES ON UNSTABLE SURFACES

Miglė Bielskytė, Toma Petkutė, Renata Žumbakytė-Šermukšnienė

Abstract


Background. Results from the previous studies indicated benefits of training on unstable surfaces in various populations. Drawing upon them we hypothesized that training on unstable surfaces would help runners improve balance and lower extremity functional indicators.

Methods. The study included 20 adolescent athletes from Kaunas sports school “Startas”, aged 12–13 years, boys and girls running short and long distances. Their training consisted of 20 minute exercises on unstable surfaces performed two times a week. Participants were tested before and after applying the program. The tests applied were Y balance test, calf muscle strength testing with a Lafayette dynamometer, Single-legged Hop tests, T-test.

Results. Groups of short- and long- distance runners had better (p < .05) calf muscle strength of both legs after exercises on unstable surfaces program. Both groups also improved 6 m HOP test results of both lower extremities (p < .05). Some of the dynamic balance indicators statistically significantly improved after exercises on unstable surfaces in the groups of short- and long- distance adolescent runners. T-test results after exercises on unstable surface program improved (p < .05) in long- distance runner group (from 14.03 (12.44; 14.95; 13.85) s to 13.94 (12.36; 14.52; 13.65) s) and there were differences between short- and long- distance runner groups before and after exercises on unstable surfaces (p < .05).

Conclusion. This research showed that training on unstable surfaces helps runners to improve balance and lower extremity functional indicators and we recommend to include exercises on unstable surfaces to their training.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.33607/bjshs.v2i113.785

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