Context: Preparticipation examinations are the standard approach for assessing poor movement quality that would increase musculoskeletal injury risk. However, little is known about how core stability influences functional movement patterns. Objective: The primary purpose of this study was to determine the effect of an 8-week core stability program on functional movement patterns in college athletes. The secondary purpose was to determine if the core stability training program would be more effective in those with worse movement quality (ie, ≤14 baseline functional movement screen [FMS] score). Design: Quasi-experimental design. Setting: Athletic training facility. Participants: One-hundred college athletes. Main Outcome Measures: Functional movement patterns included the FMS, lateral step-down, and Y balance test and were assessed before and after the 8-week program. Intervention: Participants were placed into one of the 2 groups: intervention and control. The intervention group was required to complete a core stability training program that met 3 times per week for 8 weeks. Results: Significant group × time interactions demonstrated improvements in FMS, lateral step-down, and Y balance test scores in the experimental group relative to the control group (P < .001). Independent sample t tests demonstrate that change scores were larger (greater improvement) for the FMS total score and hurdle step (P < .001) in athletes with worse movement quality. Conclusions: An 8-week core stability training program enhances functional movement patterns and dynamic postural control in college athletes. The benefits are more pronounced in college athletes with poor movement quality.
Keywords: compensations; injury; postural control; prevention; sensorimotor.