To objectively evaluate the relationship between core stability and athletic performance measures in male and female collegiate athletes.
The relationship between core stability and athletic performance has yet to be quantified in the available literature. The current literature does not demonstrate whether or not core strength relates to functional performance. Questions remain regarding the most important components of core stability, the role of sport specificity, and the measurement of core stability in relation to athletic performance.
A sample of 35 volunteer student athletes from Asbury College (NAIA Division II) provided informed consent. Participants performed a series of five tests: double leg lowering (core stability test), the forty yard dash, the T-test, vertical jump, and a medicine ball throw. Participants performed three trials of each test in a randomized order.
Correlations between the core stability test and each of the other four performance tests were determined using a General Linear Model. Medicine ball throw negatively correlated to the core stability test (r –0.389, p=0.023). Participants that performed better on the core stability test had a stronger negative correlation to the medicine ball throw (r =–0.527). Gender was the most strongly correlated variable to core strength, males with a mean measurement of double leg lowering of 47.43 degrees compared to females having a mean of 54.75 degrees.
There appears to be a link between a core stability test and athletic performance tests; however, more research is needed to provide a definitive answer on the nature of this relationship. Ideally, specific performance tests will be able to better define and to examine relationships to core stability. Future studies should also seek to determine if there are specific sub-categories of core stability which are most important to allow for optimal training and performance for individual sports.