Effects of Slackline Training on Acceleration, Agility, Jump Performance and Postural Control in Youth Soccer Players

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Javier Fernandez-Rio, Luis Santos, Benjamin Fernandez-Garcia, Roberto Robles, Ivan Casquero, Raul Paredes

The goal of this study was to assess the effects of a supervised slackline training program in a group of soccer players. Thirty-four male division I under-19 players (16.64 ± 0.81 years) agreed to participate in the study. They were randomly divided into an experimental group (EG) and a control group (CG). The first group (EG) followed a 6-week supervised slackline training program (3 sessions/week; 5-9 min/session), while the CG performed only regular soccer training. Several variables were assessed in all participants: acceleration (20-m sprint test), agility (90º turns test), jump performance (squat jump, countermovement jump), and postural control (Center of Pressure (CoP) testing: length, area, speed, Xmean, Ymean, Xspeed, Yspeed, Xdeviation, Ydeviation). Ratings of perceived exertion and local muscle ratings of perceived exertions were also recorded after each slackline training session. At post-tests, there was a significant increase only in the EG in acceleration, agility, squat jump and countermovement jump performance, as well as several CoP variables: area in the bipedal support on a firm surface, and length, area and speed in the left leg on a firm surface. The program was rated as “somewhat hard” by the players, while quadriceps, gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior were the most exerted muscles while slacklining. In conclusion, slackline training can be an effective training tool for young, high-level soccer players.
DOI: 10.2478/hukin-2018-0078
Key words
soccer, performance, motor abilities, physical fitness

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