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Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Keiner M. 1, Sander A. 2, Wirth K. 3, Hartmann H. 3
1 Swimming Federation of the State Lower Saxony, Hannover, Germany;
2 German Luge and Bobsled Federation, Berchtesgaden, Germany;
3 Institute of Sports Science, Johann Wolfgang Goethe‑University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
AIM: The training of the trunk muscles has become a standard practice for improving strength and speed-strength and reducing one’s susceptibility to injury. Athletic movements, such as sprints, lead to high forces acting on the torso and hips. The trunk muscles must control the extremities and transfer these forces so that efficient locomotion is ensured. Although the importance of the trunk muscles is well known in the literature, few studies have explored the effects of trunk muscle strength on athletic performance. This study attempted to clarify the importance of the trunk muscles on speed and strength.
METHODS: In this study, 40 volunteers from Germany’s top junior soccer leagues were recruited. At the time of testing, the subjects were 16.5±0.9 years old. The maximum isometric strength of the trunk flexors and extensors, the jump height in a squat jump and counter movement jump and the speed in a 30 meter linear sprint were measured. Bivariate correlation analyses — Pearson’s and Spearman’s — were conducted to identify possible correlations.
RESULTS: Low, non-significant correlations (r=0.02-0.3; P>0.05) were found between the strength of the trunk muscles and the performance variables in the sprint and jump tests.
CONCLUSION: The authors hypothesize that the trunk muscles have a secondary limiting factor in sprint and jump performance. Therefore, isolated training of the trunk muscles, with a focus on maximizing strength and power in athletic performance, cannot be recommended.