Core stability and strength are thought to improve performance in various sports. In handball, the thrower is believed to use their core during maximal throwing performances. This study looked at the results of core training on throwing velocity performance.
What was done
Twenty-four female high-school handball players (16.6 years) were divided into a sling exercise training (ST) or a control group. Both groups performed regular handball training during the complete 6 weeks of the program. The SET group performed a progression core stability-training program consisting of 6 unstable closed kinetic chain exercises twice a week. Maximal throwing velocity was measured before and after.
Maximal throwing velocity was significantly increased 4.9% in the SET group after training but was unchanged in the control group.
“A stronger and more stable lumbopelvic-hip complex may contribute to higher rotational velocity in multi-segmental movements. Strength coaches can incorporate exercises exposing the joints for destabilization force during training in closed kinetic chain exercises. This may encourage an effective neuromuscular pattern and increase force production and can improve a highly specific performance task such as throwing.”
Compared to a control group, unstable core training increases throwing velocity. Yet, one must still question the transfer of unstable land training to water training/swimming.
- Saeterbakken AH, van den Tillaar R, Seiler S. Effect of core stability training on throwing velocity in female handball players. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Mar;25(3):712-8. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181cc227e.