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The effect of a 10-week training regimen on lumbo-pelvic stability, balance, agility and leg power in college and university-level female athletes Mills, Jonathan Denis

Abstract

This study investigated the capacity of female athletes to improve stability within the lumbo-pelvic region, and quantified a relationship between lumbo-pelvic stability and athletic performance. Thirty participants were selected from university and college female volleyball and basketball teams and randomly assigned to either a treatment, pseudo-treatment, or no-treatment control group. The treatment and pseudo-treatment groups participated in distinct 10-week training regimens emphasizing recruitment of either the transversus abdominus and lumbar multifidus muscles of the lumbar spine or the rectus abdominis and external obliques of the abdomen. Lumbo-pelvic stability (Stabilizer pressure biofeedback unit), balance (static and dynamic Bass tests), agility (T-test), and leg power (Sargent's vertical jump test) were measured before and immediately after the 10-week study period. A combination of repeated measures ANOVA and nonparametric Friedman and Wilcoxon analyses identified significant differences between the improvements in lumbo-pelvic stability for both the treatment and pseudo-treatment groups relative to the control group. The agility and leg power of the treatment group improved relative to both the pseudo-treatment and the control groups. There were, however, no significant differences between the improvements of any of the groups on the static and dynamic balance measures. Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient identified significant relationships between the measures of lumbo-pelvic stability and athletic performance, but, there were no significant correlations between the impovements in lumbo-pelvic stability and the improvements in athletic performance. The results of this study demonstrate that lumbo-pelvic stability can be improved through training, although the focus of training (local stability vs. global mobility) seems to account for little difference in the extent of this improvement. While athletes with the most stable lumbo-pelvic regions demonstrated the best scores for both agility and leg power, there was no correlation found between improvements in lumbo-pelvic stability and improvements in athletic performance. The findings of this study indicate that athletes can improve stability of the lumbo-pelvic region by participating in training regimens which focus on the recruitment of either local stability or global mobility muscles. However, improvements in athletic performance are not likely to occur as a result of improvements in lumbo-pelvic stability alone.

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