Is bi-weekly strengthening satisfactory for the gluteus medius muscle in an active adolescent female population?

Abstract

Background: Recent literature suggests that gluteus medius deficiency is associated with lower extremity injuries. Various protocols have achieved musculoskeletal strengthening; however, research is limited on the minimum requirements needed for significant strength gain. Moreover, there is scarce research on strength training with active adolescent females, whom are at highest predisposal for lower extremity injuries. Objective: Determine if a bi-weekly protocol strengthens the gluteus medius of active females over an eight-week time frame. Design: Quasi-experimental study; the experimental group participated in a bi-weekly strengthening program over eight weeks. Forty-nine female soccer players (ages 13-18) were purposely sampled from bicoastal teams to participate in the study. All subjects were pre- and post-tested in isometric hip abduction and external rotation bilaterally using a handheld dynamometer. Results: Paired-Samples T-test proved significant increases in strength for the experimental group: LABD= t(35)=-5.40, p<.001. RABD= t(35)= -7.12, p<.001. LER= t(35)= -4.35, p<.001. RER= t(35)= -7.56, p<.001. ANOVA results proved significant differences between groups: LABD= F (2, 46)= 31.67 p < .001. RABD= F (2, 46)= 24.89 p < .001. LER= F (2, 46)= 26.97 p < .001. RER= F (2, 46)= 24.35 p < .001. Tukey HSD Comparison results proved statistically significant differences between west and east coast teams. Clinical Relevance: Bi-weekly strengthening of the gluteus medius proved to be statistically successful. The protocol was easily incorporated during eight weeks of in-season training, indicating in-season strengthening is appropriate considering time restraints. In-season strengthening of gluteus medius could potentially decrease active females