Year of Publication

2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Health Sciences

Department

Rehabilitation Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Carl G. Mattacola

Second Advisor

Dr. Dana Howell

Abstract

Proximal stability, or the ability to stabilize and actively control the spine, pelvis and trunk, has been reported to influence sport performance. Traditional training practices for the proximal segments have had little success improving sport performance. The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate the effects a sport specific proximal stability training program can have on throwing velocity and measures of muscular endurance and power which target the proximal segments of the pelvis, spine and trunk.

A stratified randomized clinical trial was implemented with a pre- to post-intervention design. Forty-six healthy, Division III collegiate female softball (n=17) and male baseball (n=29) players were randomly assigned to one of two training groups for 7 weeks; a traditional endurance training group (ET) (n=21) or a power stability training group (PS) (n=25). The primary outcome measures were the change in peak throwing velocity/Kg of body weight in mph. Mean throwing velocity, power outputs from a one-repetition maximum chop test and lift test (watts/Kg body weight), and muscular endurance plank tests. Student’s independent t-tests were used to compare differences between change scores of all dependent variables. Peak throwing velocity change scores were significantly faster (ET= .21 ±.55 mph, PS= 3.4 ±1.1 mph, p< .001) in the PS at post-intervention when compared to the ET group. Change scores were significantly greater in the PS group for mean throwing velocity, (ET= 1.1 ±1.6 mph vs. PS= 3.7 ±1.8 mph, p< .001), chop (watts), (ET= 20 ±78 watts vs. PS= 105 ±68 watts, p< .001), and lift, (ET= 49 ±62 watts vs. PS= 114 ±73 watts, p= .003). There were no change score differences for the side and prone plank endurance measures in seconds (p≥ .60). The PS group increased primary outcome measures over the ET program, indicating a more sport specific training regimen targeting the proximal segments is beneficial to both the power measures and throwing performance.

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