Relationship between Trunk Strength and Isometric Closed Kinetic Chain Performance
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Context: Training the trunk musculature is a common component of many athletic programmes; though considering its popularity, little evidence exists to suggest a beneficial impact on performance. Objective: The objective of this study was to establish whether trunk strength influences the performance of a closed kinetic chain task with respect to force management and output. Participants: 19 students (13 Male, 6 Female) of Cardiff Metropolitan University, from a varied sporting background were recruited for this study (Age 21.6 + 1.3 years; Height 174.2 + 11.6 cm; Mass 80.8 + 16.6 Kg). Data collection: Participants all performed three repetitions of hand-held dynamometry assessments, maximal Abdominal Isometric Force, and maximal Extensor Isometric Force. On a separate testing day, three isometric mid-thigh pull trials were performed on a portable force-plate to measure ground reaction forces including Peak Force (PF) and Peak Rate of Force Development (PRFD) over a 20ms sampling window. Results: The main findings suggest that, no significant findings were observed between trunk strength profiles and maximal PF (R = 0. 355 – 0. 415). However, relative PF values display a significant relationship with trunk flexion (R = 0.575 - 0.661). Significant relationships values were reported between trunk extension profiles and PRFD performance values (R = 0.484 – 0.624). Conclusion: The study suggests that based on current results and previous investigations, a relationship exists between trunk or ‘core’ strength properties and athletic performance. However future research should identify stronger methods of evaluating trunk strength properties, and determining which trunk muscle variables relate to athletic performance.
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