Eisen, TC, Danoff, JV, Leone, JE, and Miller, TA. The effects of multiaxial and uniaxial unstable surface balance training in college athletes. J Strength Cond Res 24(7): 1740-1745, 2010-The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of 2 different types of unstable surface balance training (uniaxial on a rocker board [RB] and multiaxial on a dynadisc [DD]) on balance in division 1 collegiate athletes in sports that are at high risk for ankle sprains. Subjects (n = 36) consisted of male soccer players and female volleyball and soccer players who were equally and randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups (CON, DD, and RB). Balance training consisting of balancing on 1 leg on either the RB or DD, while repeatedly catching a 1-kg ball was performed 3 times per week for 4 weeks. Balance was tested with the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) before, halfway through, and at the completion of the balance training. Control (CON) subjects also were given the balance test but did not participate in the training. A 3-way repeated analysis of variance revealed that no group individually changed SEBT scores from pre (CON, 0.98 ± 0.086; DD, 0.98 ± 0.083; RB, 0.97 ± 0.085) to post (CON, 1.00 ± 0.090; DD, 1.01 ± 0.088; RB, 1.02 ± 0.068) after balance training. When the 2 treatment groups were combined (DD and RB), the p value decreased and came closer to significance (p = 0.136). When all 3 groups were combined, there was a significant difference in SEBT scores from pretraining (CON + DD + RB; 0.98 ± 0.085) to posttraining (CON + DD + RB; 1.01 ± 0.082), which likely indicates low statistical power. The increase in physical activity the subjects experienced during the return to in-season activity, may have contributed to the significant differences in SEBT scores over time but not between DD or RB training. Therefore, a threshold level of physical activity may exist that is necessary to maintain balance during the off-season.
Department of Exercise Science, The George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, District of Columbia
Address correspondence to Todd A. Miller, email@example.com.