Purpose: This study aimed to verify the effects of functional stabilization training on lower limb kinematics, functional performance, and eccentric hip and knee torques.
Methods: Twenty-eight women were divided into a training group (TG; n = 14), which carried out the functional stabilization training during 8 wk, and a control group (CG; n = 14), which carried out no physical training. The kinematic assessment of the lower limb was performed during a single-leg squat, and the functional performance was evaluated by way of the single-leg triple hop and the timed 6-m single-leg hop tests. The eccentric hip abductor, adductor, lateral rotator, medial rotator, and the knee flexor and extensor torques were measured using an isokinetic dynamometer.
Results: After 8 wk, the TG significantly reduced the values for knee abduction (from -6.86° to 1.49°), pelvis depression (from -10.21° to -7.86°) and femur adduction (from 7.08° to 5.19°) as well as increasing the excursion of femur lateral rotation (from -0.55° to -3.67°). Similarly, the TG significantly increased the values of single-leg triple hop (from 3.52 to 3.92 m) and significantly decreased the values of timed 6-m single-leg hop tests (from 2.43 to 2.14 s). Finally, the TG significantly increased the eccentric hip abductor (from 1.31 to 1.45 N · m · kg(-1)), hip lateral rotator (from 0.75 to 0.91 N · m · kg(-1)), hip medial rotator (from 1.45 to 1.66 N · m · kg(-1)), knee flexor (from 1.43 to 1.55 N · m · kg(-1)), and knee extensor (from 3.46 to 4.40 N · m · kg(-1)) torques.
Conclusions: Strengthening of the hip abductor and lateral rotator muscles associated with functional training improves dynamic lower limb alignment and increases the strength and functional performance.