Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


Department of Sport and Leisure Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Con Burns


Background: Research suggests that core stability and strength is important in facilitating athletes to effectively transfer force to the lower and upper extremities of the body. The purpose of the current research was to evaluate the impact of an eight week intervention of core training on stable and unstable surfaces, and in vertical and horizontal alignments, on markers of athletic performance relevant to team sports.

Methods: The athletic performance markers selected were bounce depth jump, counteiTnovement Jump, agility (T-test), 10 meter sprint, 30 meter sprints, and IRM leg strength as identified by Cressey (2007). Core stability and strength were measured using the McGill (2001) core stability tests, composed of combined time for trunk flexion, trunk extension, lateral right bridge and lateral left bridge. Participants, (N=89), were assigned to cither an intervention group or control group. Intervention groups were divided based on their classification, i.e. exercising in (i) stable vertical, (ii) unstable vertical, (iii) stable horizontal and, (iv) unstable horizontal. Paired sample t tests and analyses of variance were used to assess the magnitude of change from pre to post intervention across each of the five groups.

Results: Significant changes occurred in core stability, post intervention across all groups with the greatest magnitude of change in the intervention groups. There was no significant difference across groups on the combined dependent variables, (F24, 276) = 1.02, p = .44; Wilks Lambda = .74, partial eta squared = .07. Data from a mixed between-within subject’s analysis of variance revealed significant improvements in markers of athletic performance over time. No clear improvement was found in markers of athletic performance across each of the participating groups.

Conclusion: The study concluded that the 8 week intervention was effective at eliciting greater improvements in core stability. No difference in improvement was found however in markers of athletic performance between different participating intervention groups.

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