The effects of isolated and integrated 'core stability' training on athletic performance measures: a systematic review.
ABSTRACT Core stability training, operationally defined as training focused to improve trunk and hip control, is an integral part of athletic development, yet little is known about its direct relation to athletic performance.
This systematic review focuses on identification of the association between core stability and sports-related performance measures. A secondary objective was to identify difficulties encountered when trying to train core stability with the goal of improving athletic performance.
A systematic search was employed to capture all articles related to athletic performance and core stability training that were identified using the electronic databases MEDLINE, CINAHL and SPORTDiscus™ (1982-June 2011).
A systematic approach was used to evaluate 179 articles identified for initial review. Studies that performed an intervention targeted toward the core and measured an outcome related to athletic or sport performances were included, while studies with a participant population aged 65 years or older were excluded. Twenty-four in total met the inclusionary criteria for review.
Studies were evaluated using the Physical Therapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale. The 24 articles were separated into three groups, general performance (n = 8), lower extremity (n = 10) and upper extremity (n = 6), for ease of discussion.
In the majority of studies, core stability training was utilized in conjunction with more comprehensive exercise programmes. As such, many studies saw improvements in skills of general strengths such as maximum squat load and vertical leap. Surprisingly, not all studies reported measurable increases in specific core strength and stability measures following training. Additionally, investigations that targeted the core as the primary goal for improved outcome of training had mixed results.
Core stability is rarely the sole component of an athletic development programme, making it difficult to directly isolate its affect on athletic performance. The population biases of some studies of athletic performance also confound the results.
Targeted core stability training provides marginal benefits to athletic performance. Conflicting findings and the lack of a standardization for measurement of outcomes and training focused to improve core strength and stability pose difficulties. Because of this, further research targeted to determine this relationship is necessary to better understand how core strength and stability affect athletic performance.
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ABSTRACT: We compared the effects of two 6-week high-intensity interval training interventions. Under the control condition (CON), only interval training was undertaken, whilst under the intervention condition (ICT), interval training sessions were followed immediately by core training, which was combined with simultaneous inspiratory muscle training - 'functional' IMT. Sixteen recreational runners were allocated to either ICT or CON groups. Prior to the intervention phase, both groups undertook a 4-week programme of 'foundation' IMT to control for the known ergogenic effect of IMT [30 inspiratory efforts at 50% maximal static inspiratory pressure (P0) per set, 2 sets.d, 6 d.wk]. The subsequent 6-week interval running training phase, consisted of 3-4 sessions.wk. In addition, the ICT group undertook four inspiratory-loaded core exercises [10 repetitions.set, 2 sets.d, inspiratory load set at 50% post-IMT P0] immediately after each interval training session. The CON group received neither core training nor functional IMT. Following the intervention phase, global inspiratory and core muscle functions increased in both groups (P<0.05), as evidenced by P0 and a sport-specific endurance plank test performance (SEPT), respectively. Compared to CON, the ICT group showed larger improvements in SEPT, running economy at the speed of the OBLA, and 1-hr running performance (3.04% vs 1.57%, P<0.05). The changes in these variables were inter-individually correlated (r≥0.57, n=16, P<0.05). Such findings suggest that the addition of inspiratory-loaded core conditioning into a high-intensity interval training program augments the influence of the interval program upon endurance running performance, and that this may be underpinned by an improvement in running economy.Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association. 08/2014;
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ABSTRACT: This study aimed to clarify the characteristics of muscle activities during push-up exercises performed under sling condition by comparison with those performed underground condition. We hypothesized that sling-based push-ups induce higher muscle activities than the ground-based push-ups, and its effects are more prominent in dynamic compared to static exercise owing to increased demands of stabilization. Twenty young males performed sling- and ground-based push-ups in each of static (maintaining the posture with the elbow joint angle at 90 deg) and dynamic (repeating push-ups at a rate of 45 per minute) exercises. Surface electromyograms (EMGs) of the pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, triceps brachii, biceps brachii, rectus abdominis, external oblique, internal oblique, and erector spinae muscles were recorded during the exercises. The EMG data were normalized to those obtained during maximal voluntary contraction of each muscle (% EMGmax). In the static exercise, sling condition showed significantly higher % EMGmax values than the ground condition in the triceps brachii (+27%: relative to ground condition) and biceps brachii (+128%) as well as the three abdominal muscles (+15% to +27%). In the dynamic exercise, such condition-related differences were more prominent and those in the pectoralis major (+29%) in addition to the aforementioned five muscles (+19% to +144%) were significant. These results supported the hypothesis and indicate that sling-based push-up exercise can provide greater activation in upper limb and anterior trunk muscles than the ground-based push-up exercise.BMC Research Notes 03/2014; 7(1):192.
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ABSTRACT: Objective Suspension exercise has been advocated as an effective means to improve core stability among healthy individuals and those with musculoskeletal complaints. However, the activity of core muscles during suspension exercises has not been reported. In this study, we investigated the level of activation of core muscles during suspension exercises within young and healthy adults. Design The study was conducted in a controlled laboratory setting. Methods Surface electromyographic (sEMG) activity of core muscles (rectus abdominis, external oblique, internal oblique/transversus abdominis, and superficial lumbar multifidus) during four suspension workouts (hip abduction in plank, hamstring curl, chest press, and 45° row) was investigated. Muscle activity during a 5-s hold period of the workouts was measured by sEMG and normalized to the individual's maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC). Results Different levels of muscle activation were observed during the hip abduction in plank, hamstring curl, and chest press. Hip abduction in plank generated the highest activation of most abdominal muscles. The 45° row exercise generated the lowest muscle activation. Conclusions Among the four workouts investigated, the hip abduction in plank with suspension was found to have the strongest potential strengthening effect on core muscles. Also, suspension training was found to generate relatively high levels of core muscle activation when compared with that among previous studies of core exercises on stable and unstable support surfaces.Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. 01/2014;