Core-Muscle Training and Neuromuscular Control of the Lower Limb and Trunk

J Athl Train. 2019 Sep;54(9):959-969. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-113-17. Epub 2019 Aug 6.


Context: Comprehensive injury-prevention training (plyometric, agility, balance, and core-stability exercises) has been shown to decrease sport-related injury. The relationship between trunk control and sport-related injury has been emphasized; however, the isolated effects of core-muscle training are unclear.

Objective: To investigate the effect of a simple 8-week core-muscle-training program on the neuromuscular control of the lower limb and trunk during jump landing and single-legged squatting.

Design: Controlled laboratory study.

Setting: Laboratory.

Patients or other participants: Seventeen female collegiate basketball players were randomly divided into training (n = 9; age = 19.7 ± 0.9 years) and control (n = 8; age = 20.3 ± 2.5 years) groups.

Intervention(s): The training group completed the core-muscle-training program in addition to daily practice, and the control group performed only daily practice. Kinematic and kinetic data during a drop-jump test and single-legged squat were acquired using a 3-dimensional motion-analysis system.

Main outcome measure(s): Three-dimensional hip, knee, and trunk kinematics; knee kinetics; and isokinetic muscle strength were measured at the pretraining and posttraining phases.

Results: For the drop-jump test, the maximal trunk-flexion angle increased (P = .008), and peak knee-valgus moment (P = .008) decreased in the training group. For the single-legged squat, the peak trunk-flexion angle increased (P = .04), and the total amount of trunk lateral-inclination angle (P = .02) and peak knee-valgus moment (P = .008) decreased in the training group. We observed no changes in the control group.

Conclusions: A consecutive 8-week core-muscle-training program improved lower limb and trunk biomechanics. These altered biomechanical patterns could be favorable to preventing sport-related injuries.

Keywords: anterior cruciate ligament injury; drop-jump test; single-legged squat.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Basketball / injuries*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Lower Extremity / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Torso / physiology*
  • Young Adult