Computerized Agility Training Improves Change-of-Direction and Balance Performance Independently of Footwear in Young Adults.

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Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport





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Understanding the effects of training in different footwear on sporting performance would be useful to coaches and athletes. Purpose: This study compared the effects of computerized agility training using 3 types of footwear on change-of-direction and balance performance in young adults. Method: Thirty recreationally active young adults (Mage = 22.8 ± 3.1 years; Mheight = 1.71 ± 0.7 m; Mbodymass = 73.4 ± 10.3 kg) were randomly assigned to a 6-week computerized agility training intervention in 1 of 3 footwear groups (n = 10/group): barefoot, minimal footwear, or traditional shoes. Participants had no previous barefoot or minimal-footwear training experience. Dependent variables included change-of-direction test time to completion, Star Excursion Balance Test, and single-leg stability evaluation. Testing was performed at the start of the training program, after 2 weeks, after 4 weeks, and at the end of the training program. Results: No group or time interactions were found for any of the dependent variables. Time main effects were observed for the performance measures of change of direction, Star Excursion, and single-leg-with-eyes-open stability evaluation. Participants improved in all 3 tests as early as 2 weeks into the intervention, with improvements continuing through the entire 6-week intervention. Conclusions: The lack of interaction and footwear effects suggests that agility and balance improvements during foot agility training are independent of footwear in a recreationally active young-adult population. Computerized agility training improves change-of-direction and balance performance within 2 weeks of training implementation. Future studies should consider footwear training effects in different populations, including frail older adults and athletes.


Agility, Barefoot, Intervention, Minimalist



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