The purpose of the study was to determine the impact of an exercise training protocol on balance, flexibility and injury prevalence among college level men basketball and handball players.
Method: Forty (N = 40; 20 Basketball + 20 Handball) players were selected and divided into two groups: Experimental group (N =20; 10 Basketball + 10 Handball) and Control Group (N = 20; 10 Basketball + 10 Handball). Both the experimental and control group endured a common fitness training for 20 min per season 3 to 5 seasons in a week for 8 weeks with a gradual increase in number of seasons/week as the training progresses. The experimental group underwent a special deigned exercise training protocol in addition to the fitness training and control group did not undergo the training protocol. The factors namely balance, flexibility and injury prevalence were measured by star excursion balance test, sit and reach test and injury ratio questionnaire assessment respectively. The data were collected and tested from each subject before and after the training period and statistically analyzed by using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA).
Results: The result of the study showed that eight weeks of exercise training protocol significantly improved balance (F = 1247.07), flexibility (F=119.01) and reduced injury prevalence (F=5.53) of basketball and handball players. After training intervention, the results showed 8.03% improvement in balance, 12.98% improvement in flexibility and 60% reduction in injury prevalence in experimental groups after eight weeks of exercise training protocol.
Conclusion: This study shows that there was a significant improvement in the experimental groups on selected factors namely balance, flexibility and and a significant reduction in injury prevalence due to the 8-weeks of exercise training protocol and has made a factual attempt to reduce the injuries of college level men basketball and handball players