Purpose: To assess balance, plyometric performance, and strength of recreational runners completing a neuromuscular training (NMT) program on a novel foam surface. Methods: After baseline testing, participants (n=14) completed 22-minute exercise sessions on foam twice weekly for eight weeks, and a post-training testing battery. Testing included lower quarter Y-balance test (LQYBT), dynamic leap and balance test (DLBT), squat jump and countermovement jump tests, and isometric strength testing of the foot and ankle via handheld dynamometry (HHD). Participants were asked to maintain their normal running routines throughout the study period and report any training missed due to injury. Results: Participants demonstrated significant (pConclusion: This study supports the use of progressive NMT on foam as a feasible intervention for recreational runners as all participants maintained typical running routines and reported no injuries. While further research is needed to directly inform possible effects of NMT on foam on injury risk and running performance, the improvements in single leg dynamic balance, lower body plyometric performance, and some indices of lower extremity strength in the present study suggest the efficacy of NMT performed on foam.
This study was funded by an Undergraduate Research Program (UGRP) grant at Saginaw Valley State University. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Nixon KL, Franz CJ, Birchmeier CJ, Knous JL, Berry DC, Osterhoff KM, et al. A Neuromuscular Training Program Performed on Foam is Accompanied by Improved Balance and Jump Height in Recreational Runners. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2023 Dec 15;22(1), Article 20.