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South African Journal of Sports Medicine

versão On-line ISSN 2078-516X
versão impressa ISSN 1015-5163

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DE BRUIN, M; COETZEE, D  e  SCHALL, R. The relationship between core stability and athletic performance in female university athletes. SA J. Sports Med. [online]. 2021, vol.33, n.1, pp.1-9. ISSN 2078-516X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2078-516x/2021/v33i1a10825.

BACKGROUND: Questions remain as to whether core stability represents single or multiple components, how to assess core stability, and if a relationship exists with athletic performance in different sporting codes. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the relationship between core stability and athletic performance in female university athletes. METHODS: Eighty-three female athletes (hockey, netball, running, soccer and tennis) participated in this quantitative, cross-sectional study. The isometric back extension (IBE), lateral flexion (LF) and abdominal flexion (AF) tests were used to measure core strength and endurance. The core stability grading system using a pressure biofeedback unit was applied to measure core neuromuscular control (NMC). Athletic performance was assessed using the 40 m sprint, T-test, vertical jump (VJ) and the medicine ball chest throw (MBCT). Correlations between the core stability tests and the athletic performance tests were determined overall and separately by sport. The effect of core stability on athletic performance was analysed using ANCOVA. RESULTS: Overall for all sports, most correlations were weak (r=0.10-0.39), although there was a very strong correlation between LF (strength) and VJ (r=0.90). When the sports were considered separately, there were moderate correlations (r=0.40-0.69) between core strength, endurance and motor control with certain athletic performance tests in all five sport codes. In runners, strong correlations (r=0.70-0.89) were observed between AF (endurance) and VJ, and in tennis players between IBE (strength) and the sprint. CONCLUSION: Correlations were found between core stability and athletic performance, although most correlations were negligible or weak. Athletic performance in different sport codes is associated with different components of core stability.

Palavras-chave : hockey; netball; running; soccer; tennis; functional stability.

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