Technique and Performance in Youth Athletes After a Single Injury-Prevention
Program Session

H, Trojian T, Martinez J, Kraemer W, DiStefano LJ. J Athl Train. Published Online First: November 2, 2015; DOI: 10.4085/1062-6050-50.11.01

Take Home Message: An injury prevention program warm-up
helped immediately improve landing mechanics in a youth population without
compromising performance measures. 

Sports Med Res posts have discussed the
benefits of injury prevention programs (see below).  Unfortunately, many athletic programs have
yet to incorporate injury prevention programs into practices. If these programs
have immediate short-term benefits compared with “traditional” warm-up
activities then coaches and athletes may be more likely to adopt injury
prevention programs as a warm-up.  Therefore,
the authors of this randomized trial investigated the immediate effects on
landing techniques and performance measures of 3 warm-up protocols: static
warm-up (jog followed by traditional stretching of major muscle groups), dynamic
warm-up (functional activities that were gradually increased in intensity), and
injury prevention warm-up, which was similar to a dynamic warm up with plyometrics
and balance activities added. Eighty-nine youth participants between 5th
and 9th grade performed performance tasks (i.e., vertical jump, long
jump, shuttle run, and jump-landing task) prior to randomly completing one of
the 3 warm-up protocols.  The participants
then completed the performance tasks again within 10 minutes of finishing their
randomized warm-up protocol.  The
participants were unaware of which program was the injury prevention warm-up. The
evaluators were blinded to time (pre or post) as well as to what warm-up the
participants completed.  The injury
prevention warm-up resulted in a greater improvement in landing techniques (as
assessed by the
Landing Error Scoring System)
in comparison to the dynamic and static warm ups protocols.  There were no differences in changes in any
of the performance variables (i.e., vertical jump height, long jump distance,
shuttle run time) among the 3 groups. 

authors of this study discovered that an injury prevention program can improve
landing mechanics immediately post program while not altering performance in a
youth population.  An improvement in
landing mechanics immediately after a 12 minute warm-up could be part of the
reason that injury prevention programs successfully reduce the risk of injuries.
These programs may place an athlete in more optimal landing positions.  It was interesting that these authors found
no improvements in performance post dynamic warm-up or that there were no
decreases in performance post static warm-up despite previous research findings.  It is exciting to see that there are such
positive results in a younger cohort. 
Future research should focus on long-term implications within this age
group, since they are developing neuromuscular patterns.  This could help decrease their risk for
injury as they get older if they develop more optimal neuromuscular
patterns.  It may also be interesting to
know how the athletes “felt” in regards to physical and mental preparation after
these types of warm-up programs. 
Athletes are often accustomed to dynamic or static stretching as part of
their pre-activity routines.  This deviation
from the “norm” may take time to educate athletes about these programs and help
them feel more comfortable with the new warm-up.  Clinically, the authors provide more evidence
to support replacing our traditional warm-up programs with an injury prevention

for Discussion:  Are there any concerns
that you have heard from athletes regarding injury prevention programs?  What has your experience been with trying to
integrate an injury prevention program?

Nicole Cattano
by: Jeffrey Driban


Root H, Trojian T, Martinez J, Kraemer W, & DiStefano LJ (2015). Landing Technique and Performance in Youth Athletes After a Single Injury-Prevention Program Session. Journal of athletic training PMID: 26523663