Background: Altered motor control strategies are a proposed cause of the female athlete's increased risk for noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injury. Injury prevention programs have shown promising results in decreasing the incidence of anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Purpose: To evaluate the effect of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic Modified Neuromuscular Training Program on the biomechanics of select jumping tasks in the female collegiate athlete.
Study design: Controlled laboratory study.
Methods: Thirty female National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I soccer and basketball players performed vertical jump, hopping tests, and 2 jumping tasks (drop jump and stop jump). All subjects completed a 6-week neuromuscular training program with core strengthening and plyometric training. Three-dimensional motion analysis and force plate data were used to compare the kinetics and kinematics of jumping tasks before and after training.
Results: Dynamic knee valgus moment during the stance phase of stop jump tasks decreased after completion of the neuromuscular training program (P = .04), but differences were not observed for the drop jump. Initial knee flexion (P = .003) and maximum knee flexion (P = .006) angles increased during the stance phase of drop jumps after training, but differences were not observed for the stop jump. The athletes showed improved performance in vertical jump (P < .001), right 1-legged hop (P < .001), and left 1-legged hop (P < .001).
Conclusion: Completion of a 6-week neuromuscular training program improved select athletic performance measures and changed movement patterns during jumping tasks in the subject population.
Clinical relevance: The use of this neuromuscular training program could potentially modify the collegiate athlete's motion strategies, improve performance, and lower the athlete's risk for injury.