Knee and ankle injuries are very common in both contact (rugby) and non-contact sport (football, hockey and netball) so we want to show coaches and players a quick test that helps pick out players that are at risk of knee and ankle sprains.
There are actually a few different clinical prediction tests that we use to screen athletes and it is beneficial to combine them to get a good picture, but this one is nice and easy and is great to pick out those at risk for further testing:
The Star Excursion Balance Test
This test is a good dynamic test that challenges your strength, flexibility, mobility and proprioception, which basically means it tests your dynamic balance.
To do the test, all you need is 4 strips of tape on the ground to form the star. The place the foot of the leg you are testing in the middle of this and reach out along each of the arms fo the star without losing balance or putting your weight down.1
Compare this to the other leg and note down any asymmetries between sides in the reaching distance.
If there is more than 10% difference between sides – particularly in the forward-reaching direction, they are at higher risk of ankle or knee injury and need to get onto some preventative rehab exercises.2
Give it a go and see how far you can reach forward on each leg (particularly if you have had a past sprain!) and see how you stack up!