[The relevance of core muscles in ice hockey players: a feasibility study]

Sportverletz Sportschaden. 2013 Dec;27(4):212-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1356113. Epub 2013 Dec 18.
[Article in German]


Background: Good core strength is seen as a condition for high performance in sports. In general, especially maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) and strength endurance (SE) measurements of the core muscles are used. In addition, a few studies can be found that examine the core muscles in terms of MVC, rate of force development (RFD) and SE. Primary aims of this feasibility study were to investigate the feasibility regarding recruiting process, compliance and safety of the testing conditions and raise the force capabilities MVC, RFD and SE of the core muscles in amateur ice hockey players. Secondarily, tendencies of correlations between muscle activity and either shot speed and sprint time shall be examined.

Subjects/methods: In this feasibility study the recruitment process has been approved by 29 ice hockey players, their adherence to the study measurements of trunk muscles, and safety of the measurements was evaluated. To determine the MVC, RFD and SE for the ventral, lateral and dorsal core muscles a dynamic force measurement was performed. To determine the correlation between core muscles and shot speed and 40-m sprint, respectively, the rank correlation coefficient (rho) from Spearman was used.

Results: The recruited number of eight field players and one goal-keeper was not very high. The compliance with 100 % was excellent. The players reported no adverse symptoms or injuries after the measurements. The results show median values for the ventral core muscles for MVC with 46.5 kg for RFD with 2.23 m/s2 and 96 s for the SE. For lateral core muscle median values of the lateral core muscles for MVC with 71.10 kg, RFD with 2.59 m/s2 and for SE over 66 s were determined. The dorsal core muscles shows values for MVC 69.7 kg, for RFD 3.39 m/s2 and for SE of 75 s. High correlations between MVC of the ventral core muscles (rho = -0.721, p = 0.021), and between the SE of the ventral core muscles (rho = 0.787, p = 0.012), and the shot velocity rate were determined. Another high correlation between SE of the ventral core muscles and sprint over 40 m (rho = 0.717, p = 0.030) could be demonstrated.

Conclusion: This feasibility study has shown that the implementation of the selected design is adapted for future studies. Further studies are needed to better understand the relationship between the velocity rate and the MVC, and the SE respectively, as well as between the sprint and the SE.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Hockey / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Conditioning, Human / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Running / physiology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Young Adult