Balance improvements in female high school basketball players after a 6-week neuromuscular-training program

J Sport Rehabil. 2009 Nov;18(4):465-81. doi: 10.1123/jsr.18.4.465.


Context: Poor balance has been associated with increased injury risk among athletes. Neuromuscular-training programs have been advocated as a means of injury prevention, but little is known about the benefits of these programs on balance in high school athletes.

Objective: To determine whether there are balance gains after participation in a neuromuscular-training program in high school athletes.

Design: Nonrandomized controlled trial.

Setting: All data were collected at each participating high school before and after a 6-wk intervention or control period.

Participants: 62 female high school basketball players recruited from the local high school community and assigned to a training (n = 37) or control (n = 25) group.

Intervention: Training-group subjects participated in a 6-wk neuromuscular-training program that included plyometric, functional-strengthening, balance, and stability-ball exercises.

Main outcome measures: Data were collected for the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) and Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) before and after the 6-wk intervention or control period.

Results: The authors found a significant decrease in total BESS errors in the trained group at the posttest compared with their pretest and the control group (P = .003). Trained subjects also scored significantly fewer BESS errors on the single-foam and tandem-foam conditions at the posttest than the control group and demonstrated improvements on the single-foam compared with their pretest (P = .033). The authors found improvements in reach in the lateral, anteromedial, medial, and posterior directions in the trained group at the posttest compared with the control group (P < .05) using the SEBT.

Conclusion: The study demonstrates that a neuromuscular-training program can increase the balance and proprioceptive capabilities of female high school basketball players and that clinical balance measures are sensitive to detect these differences.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control
  • Basketball / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Motor Skills
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Nervous System Physiological Phenomena*
  • Postural Balance*
  • Proprioception
  • Schools
  • Single-Blind Method