Comparisons of Static and Dynamic Balance Following Training in Aquatic and Land Environments

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context:

It has been theorized that aquatic balance training differs from land balance training.

Objective:

To compare the effects of balance training in aquatic and land environments.

Design:

Between-groups, repeated-measures design.

Setting:

Biomechanics laboratory and pool.

Participants:

24 healthy subjects randomly assigned to aquatic (n = 8), land (n = 10), or control (n = 6) groups.

Intervention:

Four weeks of balance training.

Main Outcome Measures:

Balance was measured (pre, mid, post, follow-up). COP variables: radial area, y range, x range in single leg (SL), tandem (T), single leg foam (SLF), and tandem form (TF) stance.

Results:

A significant condition × time interaction for x range was found, with improvements for SL, SLF, and TF. Radial area improved, with post-test 1.01 ± .23 cm2 and follow-up 1.06 ± .18 cm2 significantly lower than pretest 1.18 ± .23 cm2. Y range significantly improved, with posttest (4.69 ± 1.02 cm2) lower than pretest (5.89 ± 1.26 cm2). The foam conditions (SLF & TF) were significantly different from non-foam conditions (SL & T) for all variables.

Conclusions:

Results of this study show that balance training can effectively be performed in both land and aquatic environments.

Aimee E. Roth is a Physical Education Instructor and Head ATC at Columbus East High School, Columbus, IN. E-mail: arot14@yahoo.com. Michael G. Miller is with Graduate Athletic Training Education and Brenda L. Chapman is with the Sports Medicine Clinic both at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. Mark Ricard is with the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Texas–Arlington. Donna Ritenour is with the Dept. of Health, PE, and Human Performance at Salisbury University, Maryland.