Optimizing performance by improving core stability and core strength

Angela Hibbs, Kevin THOMPSON, Duncan French, Allan Wrigley, Iain Spears

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

139 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Core stability and core strength have been subject to research since the early 1980s. Research has highlighted benefits of training these processes for people with back pain and for carrying out everyday activities. However, less research has been performed on the benefits of core training for elite athletes and how this training should be carried out to optimize sporting performance. Many elite athletes undertake core stability and core strength training as part of their training programme, despite contradictory findings and conclusions as to their efficacy. This is mainly due to the lack of a gold standard method for measuring core stability and strength when performing everyday tasks and sporting movements. A further confounding factor is that because of the differing demands on the core musculature during everyday activities (low load, slow movements) and sporting activities (high load, resisted, dynamic movements), research performed in the rehabilitation sector cannot be applied to the sporting environment and, subsequently, data regarding core training programmes and their effectiveness on sporting performance are lacking. There are many articles in the literature that promote core training programmes and exercises for performance enhancement without providing a strong scientific rationale of their effectiveness, especially in the sporting sector. In the rehabilitation sector, improvements in lower back injuries have been reported by improving core stability. Few studies have observed any performance enhancement in sporting activities despite observing improvements in core stability and core strength following a core training programme. A clearer understanding of the roles that specific muscles have during core stability and core strength exercises would enable more functional training programmes to be implemented, which may result in a more effective transfer of these skills to actual sporting activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)995-1008
Number of pages14
JournalSports Medicine
Volume38
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

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Education
Research
Athletes
Rehabilitation
Back Injuries
Exercise
Resistance Training
Program Evaluation
Back Pain
Muscles

Cite this

Hibbs, Angela ; THOMPSON, Kevin ; French, Duncan ; Wrigley, Allan ; Spears, Iain. / Optimizing performance by improving core stability and core strength. In: Sports Medicine. 2008 ; Vol. 38, No. 12. pp. 995-1008.
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Optimizing performance by improving core stability and core strength. / Hibbs, Angela; THOMPSON, Kevin; French, Duncan; Wrigley, Allan; Spears, Iain.

In: Sports Medicine, Vol. 38, No. 12, 2008, p. 995-1008.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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