The effects of neuromuscular training on knee joint motor control during sidecutting in female elite soccer and handball players

Mette K Zebis, Jesper Bencke, Lars L Andersen, Simon Døssing, Tine Alkjaer, S Peter Magnusson, Michael Kjaer, Per Aagaard

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    OBJECTIVE: The project aimed to implement neuromuscular training during a full soccer and handball league season and to experimentally analyze the neuromuscular adaptation mechanisms elicited by this training during a standardized sidecutting maneuver known to be associated with non-contact anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

    DESIGN: The players were tested before and after 1 season without implementation of the prophylactic training and subsequently before and after a full season with the implementation of prophylactic training.

    PARTICIPANTS: A total of 12 female elite soccer players and 8 female elite team handball players aged 26 +/- 3 years at the start of the study.

    INTERVENTION: The subjects participated in a specific neuromuscular training program previously shown to reduce non-contact ACL injury.

    METHODS: Neuromuscular activity at the knee joint, joint angles at the hip and knee, and ground reaction forces were recorded during a sidecutting maneuver. Neuromuscular activity in the prelanding phase was obtained 10 and 50 ms before foot strike on a force plate and at 10 and 50 ms after foot strike on a force plate.

    RESULTS: Neuromuscular training markedly increased before activity and landing activity electromyography (EMG) of the semitendinosus (P < 0.05), while quadriceps EMG activity remained unchanged.

    CONCLUSIONS: Neuromuscular training increased EMG activity for the medial hamstring muscles, thereby decreasing the risk of dynamic valgus. This observed neuromuscular adaptation during sidecutting could potentially reduce the risk for non-contact ACL injury.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalClinical Journal of Sport Medicine
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)329-37
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


    • Adult
    • Anterior Cruciate Ligament
    • Athletic Injuries
    • Biomechanical Phenomena
    • Cohort Studies
    • Electromyography
    • Female
    • Hip Joint
    • Humans
    • Knee Joint
    • Muscle, Skeletal
    • Physical Education and Training
    • Range of Motion, Articular
    • Soccer
    • Sports

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