Anterior Reach and Symmetry on the Y-Balance Test are Related to Dorsiflexion Range of Motion but not Single-Limb Balance in Physically Active Young Adults

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training
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  • 1 University of Kentucky
  • 2 University of Indianapolis
  • 3 Mercer University
  • 4 Leidos
  • 5 Naval Medical Center Portsmouth
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Background: The anterior reach distance and symmetry of the Y-Balance Test (YBT) has been associated with increased injury risk in collegiate athletes. Examining the influence of dorsiflexion range of motion (DROM) and single-limb balance (SLB) on YBT performance may identify underlying factors associated with injury risk. Objective: The purpose of this study is to determine if YBT anterior reach is related to DROM or SLB in collegiate varsity and club sport athletes. Methods: A convenience sample of 124 university varsity and club sport athletes (females: 99, age: 20.0 ± 1.6 years, height: 168.9 ± 12.5 kg, body mass: 68.8 ± 14.0 kg) completed the anterior direction of the YBT, weight-bearing DROM, and SLB components (firm and foam surface) of the Balance Error Scoring System on both limbs at one testing session. Relative symmetry was calculated by subtracting values of the left limb from the right limb. Results: For the left and right limb, normalized anterior reach distance was moderately correlated to DROM (R = .55, p < .001). Anterior reach distance and symmetry was weakly correlated to SLB and SLB symmetry (R = −.16 to −.03). Conclusion: There was a positive relationship between YBT anterior reach and weight-bearing DROM which was also observed in the between-limb symmetry. However, weak relationships were exhibited between YBT anterior reach and SLB. These findings may be useful for future injury prevention initiatives in athletic settings.

M.C. Hoch is an associate professor in the Department of Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA. J.M. Hoch is an assistant professor in the Department of Athletic Training and Clinical Nutrition at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA. Powden is an assistant professor in the College of Health Sciences at the University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA. Gabriel is an assistant professor in the College of Health Professions at Mercer University, Macon, GA, USA. Welsch is with Leidos, Portsmouth, VA, USA; and Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, Portsmouth, VA, USA.

Hoch (johanna.hoch@uky.edu) is corresponding author.
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