The effect of an 8-week core-stability program on coordination dynamics and kicking speed in female soccer players

Serrien, Ben and Steiner, Valentina and Clijsen, Ron and Baeyens, Jean Pierre (2015) The effect of an 8-week core-stability program on coordination dynamics and kicking speed in female soccer players. In: ECSS 2015, 24.06 - 27.06.2015, Malmö Sweden.

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Introduction. In this study we wanted to analyze the effect of core-stability (CS) training on ball speed (BS) and coordination dynamics (CD) in a penalty kick from a single-subject point-of-view. The constraints model (organismic-task-environment) and the self-organization principle offer a useful framework to study CD. In this study, we focused on the effects of altered neuromuscular constraints after an 8-week CS intervention. Methods. Twenty-five female soccer players (median age 16) from the Austrian 2nd league participated in this study. After subjects were age- and anthropometrically matched, they were randomized between an intervention (14) and control group (CON, 11) who followed their normal soccer training. The intervention group received a CS exercise program for 8 weeks, 2 times a week for 30 minutes beside their normal soccer training. CD in 12 penalty kicks was analyzed with self-organizing maps (SOM) for every subject separately with the method described by Lamb et al. with as input vector 20 kinematic time series (joint angles and – velocities of pelvis, trunk and kicking leg) during the penalty kick. We hypothesized that the CON subjects would have their local minima of the coordination potential on the same nodes of the SOM and that the local minima of the intervention subjects would be shifted. Analysis of BS was done for every subject with a paired t-test. Results. In the intervention group, 1 subject showed a significantly increased BS and 3 subjects showed a sig. decreased BS. In the CON, 3 subjects showed a sig. increase an 1 subject a sig. decrease. The results of the CD analysis with the SOM’s showed that most players exhibited a monostable coordination potential on both sessions. The hypothesis could not be confirmed: from both groups, subjects had altered coordination patterns. These shifts in coordination are thus probably only day-to-day variability and no systematic alteration. Discussion. The results indicate that the intervention program focusing on CS was not effective in improving BS or altering the CD because of altered organismic constraints. Various reasons contribute to this result, including low adherence to the training regimen of some subjects and a very heterogeneous group on several other not controlled factors such as CS experience and soccer experience. Organismic constraints are much more difficult to alter on a systematic basis. Further research with a simpler motion and more experimental control will be necessary to study the effect of organismic constraints on CD. References Lamb et al. 2011 Hum Mov Sci 30 1129-43

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