Ankle proprioception in male and female surfers and the implications of motor experience and lower-body strength
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Wolters Kluwer / National Strength and Conditioning Association
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
The primary objectives were to evaluate if the active movement extent discrimination apparatus (AMEDA) condition (i.e., front foot and back foot plantarflexion, dorsiflexion, inversion, and eversion) and the level of competition explained ankle movement discrimination scores and, thereafter, examined the contribution of surf experience, physical capacity, and ability to proprioception. It was also considered important to re-evaluate the surf experience, anthropometric characteristics, physical capacities, and abilities of male and female surfers. Twenty-six male (n = 12, surf experience = 18 ± 8 years) and female surfers (n = 14, surf experience = 9 ± 6 years) completed a pre-exercise medical questionnaire, anthropometric assessment, 8 AMEDA assessments, countermovement jump, squat jump, and isometric midthigh pull assessment. The AMEDA condition and level of competition did not have a statistically significant main effect on ankle movement discrimination scores; however, the effect of the gender/sex was significant (p = 0.044). Surf experience (p = 0.029) and lower-body isometric strength (p = 0.029) had a statistically significant but small main effect on ankle movement discrimination scores. The results also confirmed that there were significant differences in surf experience, anthropometric characteristics, physical capacity, and jumping ability between male and female surfers. As surf experience and physical capacity were only able to explain a small magnitude of ankle movement discrimination scores, it is suggested that ankle proprioception in surfers may be related to both the volume and quality of the motor experience attained, which may be augmented by environmental and sociocultural factors.