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: There is evidence that neuromuscular training not only decreases the potential biomechanical risk factors for ACL injury, but also decreases knee and, specifically, ACL injury incidence in female athletes. Five of the six interventions in this systematic review demonstrated significant effects on overall knee or ACL injury rates. It appears that plyometric power, biomechanics and technique, strength, balance, and core stability training can induce neuromuscular changes and potential injury prevention effects in female athletes. However, it is unknown which of these components is most effective or whether the effects are combinatorial. Future research should assess the relative efficacy of these interventions alone and in combination to achieve the optimal effect in the most efficient manner possible. Selective combination of neuromuscular training components may provide additive effects, further reducing the risk of ACL injuries in female athletes. Additional research directions include the assessment of relative injury risk using mass neuromuscular screening, the development of more specific injury prevention protocols targeted toward high-risk athletes, and the determination of when these interventions should be implemented. It may be that prepubertal or early pubertal female athletes may have the potential to achieve optimal biomechanical changes and the greatest chance of injury-free sports participation throughout their careers.The journal of knee surgery 02/2005; 18(1):82-8.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a short-term Swiss ball training on core stability and running economy. Eighteen young male athletes (15.5 +/- 1.4 years; 62.5 +/- 4.7 kg; sigma9 skinfolds 78.9 +/- 28.2 mm; VO2max 55.3 +/- 5.7 ml.kg(-1).min(-1)) were divided into a control (n = 10) and experimental (n = 8) groups. Athletes were assessed before and after the training program for stature, body mass, core stability, electromyographic activity of the abdominal and back muscles, treadmill VO2max, running economy, and running posture. The experimental group performed 2 Swiss ball training sessions per week for 6 weeks. Data analysis revealed a significant effect of Swiss ball training on core stability in the experimental group (p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed for myoelectric activity of the abdominal and back muscles, treadmill VO2max, running economy, or running posture in either group. It appears Swiss ball training may positively affect core stability without concomitant improvements in physical performance in young athletes. Specificity of exercise selection should be considered.The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 09/2004; 18(3):522-8. · 1.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Controlled cohort repeated-measures experimental design. To determine if a neuromuscular training program (NMTP) focused on core stability and lower extremity strength would affect performance on the star excursion balance test (SEBT). We hypothesized that NMTP would improve SEBT performance in the experimental group and there would be no side-to-side differences in either group. The SEBT is a functional screening tool that is used to assess dynamic stability, monitor rehabilitation progress, assess deficits following an injury, and identify athletes at high risk for lower extremity injury. The SEBT requires lower extremity coordination, balance, flexibility, and strength. Twenty uninjured female soccer players (13 experimental, 7 control) participated. Players trained together as a team, so group allocation was not randomized. The SEBT was administered prior to and following 8 weeks of NMTP in the experimental group and 8 weeks of no NMTP in the control group. A 3-way mixed-model ANOVA was used to determine the effect of group (experimental versus control), training (pretraining versus posttraining), and limb (right versus left). After participation in a NMTP, subjects demonstrated a significant improvement in the SEBT composite score (mean ± SD) on the right limb (pretraining, 96.4% ± 11.7%; posttraining, 104.6% ± 6.1%; P = .03) and the left limb (pretraining, 96.9% ± 10.1%; posttraining, 103.4% ± 8.0%; P = .04). The control group had no change on the SEBT composite score for the right (pretraining, 95.7% ± 5.2%; posttraining, 94.4% ± 5.2%; P = .15) or the left (97.4% ± 7.2%; 93.6% ± 5.0%; P = .09) limb. Further analysis identified significant improvement for the SEBT in the posterolateral direction on both the right (P = .008) and left (P = .040) limb and the posteromedial direction of the left limb (P = .028) in the experimental group. Female soccer players demonstrated an improved performance on the SEBT after NMTP that focused on core stability and lower extremity strength.Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 09/2010; 40(9):551-8. · 2.95 Impact Factor