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Int J Sports Med. 2013 Dec;34(12):1093-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1337949. Epub 2013 May 22.

Effects of slackline training on balance, jump performance & muscle activity in young children.

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Institute of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Basel, Switzerland.


The study investigated the effects of slackline training (rope balancing) on balance, jump performance and muscle activity in children. Two primary-school classes (intervention, n=21, INT: age: 10.1 (SD 0.4) y, weight: 33.1 (4.5) kg; control, n=13, CON: age: 10.0 (SD 0.4) y, weight: 34.7 (7.4) kg) participated. Training was performed within 6 weeks, 5 times per week for 10 min each day. Balance (static and dynamic stance), countermovement jumps, reverse balancing on beams (3, 4.5 and 6 cm width), slackline standing (single- and double-limb) and electromyographic activity (soleus, gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior) were examined. INT significantly improved single- and double-limb slackline standing (double limb: 5.1 (3.4) s-17.2 (14.4) s; right leg: 8.2 (5.8) s-38.3 (36.0) s; left leg: 10.6 (5.8) s-49.0 (56.3) s; p<0.001; 0.17<ηp²<0.22). Reduced left-leg dynamic sway (-20.8%, p=0.06, ηp²=0.10), improved 4.5 cm balancing (+18.5%, p=0.08, ηp²=0.10) and decreased muscle activity during slackline standing for the mm. soleus (-23%, p=0.10, ηp²=0.18) and tibialis anterior (-26%, p=0.15, ηp²=0.14) was observed for INT. Jump performance remained unchanged (p=0.28, ηp²=0.04). In conclusion, daily slackline training results in large slackline-specific balance improvements. Transfer effects to static and dynamic stance, reverse balancing or jumping performance seemed to be restricted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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