Date of Graduation
College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences
Context: Research has shown that intrinsic foot muscle strengthening over a 4-week period is beneficial for improvements in dynamic postural control, function, stability and foot posture. Ice hockey is a sport that requires immense levels of balance, stability and performance on the lateral aspect of the skate. With research lacking on the impact of intrinsic foot muscle strengthening on ice hockey athletes’ balance, foot posture and performance, implementation of such a program may be beneficial for ice hockey players. Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of foot intrinsic muscle strengthening versus a traditional extrinsic muscle strengthening program on ice hockey players balance, foot posture, agility and perceived ability. Design: Randomized superiority study. Setting: D1 and D2 men’s university club ice hockey teams in a mid-Atlantic state. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty-eight subjects (Age=19.96 ± 1.59 yrs; height=180.56 ± 6.70 cm; mass=79.04 ± 9.06 kg) that participate on the D1 or D2 men’s university club ice hockey teams volunteered for this study. All participants met inclusion criteria. Inclusion criteria included subjects who are healthy, currently on the roster for the men’s D1 or D2 club ice hockey teams, no history of a serious injury to the ankle or foot in the past six months, and no history of surgeries to the lower extremity within the last 6 months. Exclusion criteria included a history of surgery to the lower extremity within the last 6 months, history of a serious injury to the lower extremity within the last 6 months, and those who had a disorder that may affect ability to perform any of the procedures within the study. One participant was excluded due to having mononucleosis at the time of pre-testing and another dropped out due to school obligations. Interventions: Subjects were randomly assigned to the Foot Core Interventions group or the Traditional Exercise group. The Foot Core exercise group performed the short foot and the toes-spread-out exercises throughout a 4-week period for two sessions per week. The Traditional exercise group performed towel scrunches and marble pick-ups throughout a 4-week period for two sessions per week. Both groups completed pre- and post-test measurements of Foot and Ankle Ability Measures (FAAM) for ADL and Sport, the navicular drop test, the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) in Anterior (A), Posterolateral (PL) and Posteromedial (PM) directions, and the S-Cornering agility drill. Main Outcome Measures: FAAM ADL and Sport, the navicular drop test, SEBT (A, PM, and PL), and the S-Cornering ice hockey drill. Results: Navicular drop demonstrated a significant change for test for the left limb (pConclusions: With both groups demonstrating significant changes in all clinically oriented outcomes, it can be determined that a 4-week program for both the short foot exercises and traditional exercises can provide a positive impact on balance, foot posture and agility within ice hockey athletes.
Veltrie, Rebecca Eve, "The Effects of Intrinsic Foot Muscle Strengthening on Foot Posture, Balance, and Agility in Ice Hockey Players" (2020). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 7602.