Effect of trunk endurance training on low back endurance & injury in collegiate gymnasts
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Collegiate level gymnastics creates extreme amounts of load and stress on the trunk musculature of athletes. Therefore, low back injuries are prevalent during practice competition hours. This clinical investigation aimed to administer and evaluate the effect of an 8-week trunk endurance training protocol on the low back endurance and injury rates in collegiate gymnasts compared to a control group. Data will be collaborated with results from previous and future investigation in order to strengthen the association between trunk endurance and decreased injury rates. The training protocol focused on the trunk extensor and lateral flexor muscles through prone opposite arm and leg raises and lateral double leg lifts with lateral trunk flexion. Trunk endurance was evaluated pre- and post- 8 weeks training using four static hold tests; Biering-Sorenson, right and left side-bridge, and trunk flexor. The results of the study showed the training group of gymnasts made significant improvements in trunk extensor endurance compared to the control group. No significant differences were found in lateral flexor improvements between the two groups, indicating the lateral flexor muscles were not adequately challenged during training. Injury rates were relatively low in comparison to previous seasons without the supplemental training protocol. Only one new episode of low back pain was reported as well as two recurrent episodes.
Back -- Wounds and injuries -- Prevention
Gymnastics -- Training -- Physiological aspects