Effect of Wii Balance Board and motor imagery on balance and muscle strength in football players

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Adithep Watkhum
Onuma Boonyarom
Kanokwan Srisupornkornkool


Background: Football is a dynamic sport that requires frequent direction changes, which may increase the players’ risk of injury. Balancing is a basic skill in football, and given that balance is correlated with the strength of the thigh muscles; Wii Balance Board training may improve balance. Motor imagery enables the translation of imagination to motion without the actual performance of the motion, which may increase players’ ability to learn the motions or skills they need to play football. This study is aimed to prevent and rehabilitate balance-related injuries in football players.
Objectives: This study aimed to compare the effects of Wii Balance Board training and Wii Balance Board with motor imagery training on the balance and muscle strength of football players.
Methods: Sixteen football players aged 18 to 23 years old were divided into the Wii Balance Board (WBB) group (n = 8) and the Wii Balance Board with motor imagery (WBB+MI) group (n = 8), and the groups received WBB or WBB+MI for four weeks, respectively. Balance was evaluated using a Posturomed device, and a wireless muscle strength tester that was used to measure the strength of the participants’ knee extensor muscles before and after the fourth week training period.
Results: The balance and muscle strength of the WBB group before and after the four-week training program significantly differed (P < 0.05). The WBB+MI group did not show any significant difference in balance (P > 0.05), but their muscle strength significantly differed (P < 0.05). However, balance and muscle strength did not show any difference between the two groups (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: WBB may help improve balance, while WBB and WBB+MI may enhance the strength of the thigh
muscles in football players.

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