Article Title



Solomon Garcia and Chanel Whitaker

Missouri Southern State University, Joplin, MO

Balance and range of motion are crucial for athletic performance. Ankle strengthening and mobility exercises have been used to improve ankle instability and balance in injured and elderly populations. However, it is unknown how an acute bout of these exercises may affect balance and range of motion in healthy college athletes. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of an acute bout of ankle strengthening and mobility exercise on balance and range of motion. It was hypothesized that acute ankle strengthening and mobility exercise will show improvements in balance and range of motion. METHODS: College athletes (N=9; 21.2±1.1 yrs) completed resistance band pulls in each range of motion direction and controlled articular rotations in the clockwise and counterclockwise directions. Balance (star excursion test) and ankle range of motion were assessed pre- and post-test. Participants completed 3 trials of the star excursion test for each leg. The 3 trials were measured in cm and averaged for each direction (Anterior, Anteromedial, Medial, Posteromedial, Posterior, Posterolateral, Lateral, and Anterolateral). Range of motion (plantarflexion, dorsiflexion, eversion, and inversion) was measured in degrees with a goniometer. Paired samples t-tests were calculated for each star excursion direction and range of motion. RESULTS: For the left leg, participants showed significant improvement in 6 star excursion directions [anterior (t= -3.53, p=.007), posterolateral (t= -4.11, p=.003), posterior (t= -5.47, p<.001), posteromedial (t= -4.66, p=.002), medial (t= -4.35, p=.002), anteromedial (t= -4.00, p=.003)] and significantly increased range of motion [plantarflexion (t= -3.88, p=.004), dorsiflexion (t= 3.37, p=.010), inversion (t= -2.80, p=.023), eversion (t= -3.97, p=.004)]. For the right leg, participants showed significantly increased reach in 5 star excursion directions [anterior (t= -2.75, p=.025), lateral (t= -3.73, p=.005), posterolateral (t= -4.75, p=.001), posterior (t= -2.68, p=.028), posteromedial (t= -2.92, p=.019)] and significantly increased inversion (t= -3.22, p=.012) and eversion (t= -4.19 p=.003). CONCLUSION: Results suggest balance and range motion improved after completing ankle strengthening and mobility exercise which may benefit athletic performance.

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