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Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Prevention Exercises: Could a Neuromuscular Warm-Up Improve Muscle Pre-Activation before a Soccer Game? A Proof-of-Principle Study on Professional Football Players

Unit of Physical and Rehabilitative Medicine, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Catanzaro “Magna Graecia”, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy
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Academic Editors: Alessandro de Sire, Ozden Ozyemisci Taskiran and Mark King
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(11), 4958; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11114958
Received: 26 April 2021 / Revised: 24 May 2021 / Accepted: 25 May 2021 / Published: 27 May 2021
Neuromuscular warm-up has been shown to decrease the risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury improving muscular firing patterns. All preventive training programs described in the literature have a duration of several weeks. To date, no studies have explored the immediate effect of a neuromuscular warm-up exercise on pre-activation time of the knee stabilizer muscles. Thus, this proof-of-principle study aimed at evaluating the acute effects of a neuromuscular warm-up exercises on the electromyographic activation of knee stabilizer muscles’ activation pattern. We included 11 professional football players, mean aged 23.2 ± 4.5 years, from a Southern Italy football team. All of them underwent a standard warm-up exercise protocol at the first day of the evaluation. At 1 week, they underwent a structured neuromuscular warm-up exercise protocol. We assessed as outcome measure the pre-activation time (ms) of rectus femoris (RF), vastus medialis (VM), biceps femoris (BF), and medial hamstrings (MH) upon landing. Outcomes were assessed before and after the standard warm-up and neuromuscular warm-up. Pre-activation time of RF, VM, BF and MH significantly improved only after neuromuscular warm-up (p < 0.05); moreover, there was a significant (p < 0.05) between-group difference in pre-activation time of all muscles after the neuromuscular warm-up compared with the standard warm-up. These findings suggested that physical exercise consisting of a structured injury prevention neuromuscular warm-up might have an immediate effect in improving the activation time of the knee stabilizer muscles, thus potentially reducing the risk of ACL injury. View Full-Text
Keywords: neuromuscular warm-up; physical exercise; rehabilitation; anterior cruciate ligament injury; soccer players; football neuromuscular warm-up; physical exercise; rehabilitation; anterior cruciate ligament injury; soccer players; football
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MDPI and ACS Style

de Sire, A.; Demeco, A.; Marotta, N.; Moggio, L.; Palumbo, A.; Iona, T.; Ammendolia, A. Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Prevention Exercises: Could a Neuromuscular Warm-Up Improve Muscle Pre-Activation before a Soccer Game? A Proof-of-Principle Study on Professional Football Players. Appl. Sci. 2021, 11, 4958. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11114958

AMA Style

de Sire A, Demeco A, Marotta N, Moggio L, Palumbo A, Iona T, Ammendolia A. Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Prevention Exercises: Could a Neuromuscular Warm-Up Improve Muscle Pre-Activation before a Soccer Game? A Proof-of-Principle Study on Professional Football Players. Applied Sciences. 2021; 11(11):4958. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11114958

Chicago/Turabian Style

de Sire, Alessandro, Andrea Demeco, Nicola Marotta, Lucrezia Moggio, Arrigo Palumbo, Teresa Iona, and Antonio Ammendolia. 2021. "Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury Prevention Exercises: Could a Neuromuscular Warm-Up Improve Muscle Pre-Activation before a Soccer Game? A Proof-of-Principle Study on Professional Football Players" Applied Sciences 11, no. 11: 4958. https://doi.org/10.3390/app11114958

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