Date of Award

Spring 3-23-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

PhD Health Sciences


Health and Medical Sciences


Lee Cabell, Ed.D

Committee Member

Genevieve Zipp, Ed.D

Committee Member

Fortunato Battaglia, Ph.D


Core Stabilization, Electromyography, Injury Prevention, Postural Control, Time to Stability, Soccer


BACKGROUND: About 1/3 of injuries are non-contact in nature and half of these involve the LE’s. There are numerous anatomical and physiological mechanisms and systems involved in stabilizing the trunk for movement of the lower extremities. The ability of the trunk to maintain the position and motion of the trunk over the pelvis and LE’s is predominantly accomplished via quick postural responses to internal and external forces. These pre-programed postural responses are integrated within the neuromuscular system. It is theorized that poor core stability is a result of a failure in the neuromuscular system to support the trunk and pelvis over the lower extremities. Poor core stability has also been linked with an increased risk of lower extremity injuries. Poor core stability has also been linked to poor athletic performance via similar mechanisms. Current practice is to train the core in combination with the lower extremities. Improvements in athletic performance has been demonstrated. However, it is difficult to ascertain whether the improvements are due to changes in the trunk, the lower extremities or some combination thereof. Few studies have examined biomechanical measures of postural control following an integrated core stabilization training let alone an isolated approach to core stabilization. OBJECTIVE: To examine the reliability of the measurements and the effects of an 8-week isolated core stability program on trunk muscle activation, static and dynamic postural stability and kicking velocity in soccer athletes. DESIGN: Twenty division II and III soccer athletes (n=10 male, n=10 female) participated in a quasi-experimental randomized pre-post training study (n=10 control, n=10 experimental). The main outcomes were derivative of CoP and trunk muscle surface EMG normalized to %MVC for static postural control tasks TTS as a measure dynamic postural control and kicking velocity. STATISTICS: Reliability of the measures were assessed using ICC (2,K), MDC (95%CI) and SEM’s. Between and within group differences pre and post training were assessed using repeated measures MANOVA for static postural stability (CoP and EMG) and repeated measure ANOVA for dynamic recovery of balance and kicking velocity (p< .05). RESULTS: Good to excellent ICC’s with relatively small MDC and SEM’s. Further, there was a reduction in CoP deviation and trunk muscle activation during postural control tasks, quicker TTS and increased kicking velocity following training as compared to controls. CONCLUSION: Static and dynamic postural control and kicking velocity improved in division II and III soccer athletes following an 8-week isolated core stabilization training. These results begin to elucidate to role of the core and the effects of core stabilization training on standing postural control and performance in athletes. These results have direct implications on clinical intervention for soccer athletes.