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Effect of Core Stability Training on Throwing Velocity in Female Handball Players

Saeterbakken, Atle H1; van den Tillaar, Roland1,2; Seiler, Stephen3

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: March 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 3 - pp 712-718
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cc227e
Original Research

Saeterbakken, AH, van den Tillaar, R, and Seiler, S. Effect of core stability training on throwing velocity in female handball players. J Strength Cond Res 25(3): 712-718, 2011-The purpose was to study the effect of a sling exercise training (SET)-based core stability program on maximal throwing velocity among female handball players. Twenty-four female high-school handball players (16.6 ± 0.3 years, 63 ± 6 kg, and 169 ± 7 cm) participated and were initially divided into a SET training group (n = 14) and a control group (CON, n = 10). Both groups performed their regular handball training for 6 weeks. In addition, twice a week, the SET group performed a progressive core stability-training program consisting of 6 unstable closed kinetic chain exercises. Maximal throwing velocity was measured before and after the training period using photocells. Maximal throwing velocity significantly increased 4.9% from 17.9 ± 0.5 to 18.8 ± 0.4 m·s−1 in the SET group after the training period (p < 0.01), but was unchanged in the control group (17.1 ± 0.4 vs. 16.9 ± 0.4 m·s−1). These results suggest that core stability training using unstable, closed kinetic chain movements can significantly improve maximal throwing velocity. A stronger and more stable lumbopelvic-hip complex may contribute to higher rotational velocity in multisegmental movements. Strength coaches can incorporate exercises exposing the joints for destabilization force during training in closed kinetic chain exercises. This may encourage an effective neuromuscular pattern and increase force production and can improve a highly specific performance task such as throwing.

1Faculty of Teacher Education and Sport, Sogn og Fjordane University College, Norway; 2Research Center for Sport, Health and Human Development, Villa Real, Portugal; and 3Institute of Public Health, Sport and Nutrition, University of Agder, Norway

Address correspondence to A.H. Saeterbakken, atle.saeterbakken@hisf.no.

This study was conducted without any funding from companies or manufacturers or outside organizations.

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association