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Open AccessArticle

Core Stability and Symmetry of Youth Female Volleyball Players: A Pilot Study on Anthropometric and Physiological Correlates

1
Department of Physical Education & Sport Science, Laboratory of Evaluation of Human Biological Performance, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece
2
Exercise Physiology Laboratory, 18450 Nikaia, Greece
3
School of Physical Education and Sport Science, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, 17237 Athens, Greece
4
Institute of Primary Care, University of Zurich, 8091 Zurich, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Symmetry 2020, 12(2), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym12020249
Received: 28 January 2020 / Revised: 3 February 2020 / Accepted: 4 February 2020 / Published: 6 February 2020
The aim of the present study was to examine the variation in core stability and symmetry of youth female volleyball players by age, and its relationship with anthropometric characteristics, the 30 s Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT), and the 30 s Bosco test. Female volleyball players (n = 24, age 13.9 ± 1.9 years, mean ± standard deviation) performed a series of anthropometric, core stability tests (isometric muscle endurance of torso flexors, extensors, and right and left lateral bridge), WAnT (peak power, mean power, Pmean, and fatigue index, FI) and Bosco test (Pmean). Flexors-to-extensors ratio and right-to-left lateral bridge ratio were also calculated. Participants were grouped into younger (n = 12, 12.3 ± 1.2 years) or older than 14 years (n = 12, 15.4 ± 1.0 years), and into normal (flexors-to-extensors ratio < 1; n = 17) or abnormal flexors-to-extensors ratio (≥1; n = 7). The older age group was heavier (+11.3 kg, mean difference; 95% CI, 2.0, 20.6) and with higher body mass index (+2.8 kg m−2; 95% CI, 0.4, 5.1) than the younger age group. The group with abnormal flexors/extensors had larger flexors muscle endurance (+77.4 s; 95% CI, 41.8, 113.0) and higher flexors/extensors ratio (+0.85; 95% CI, 0.61, 1.10) than the normal group. Body fat percentage (BF) correlated moderately-to-largely with flexors (r = −0.44, p = 0.033), extensors (r = −0.51, p = 0.011), and left lateral bridge (r = −0.45, p = 0.027); WAnT Pmean moderately-to-largely with right (r = 0.46, p = 0.027) and left lateral bridge (r = 0.55, p = 0.006); FI moderately-to-largely with right (r = −0.45, p = 0.031) and left lateral bridge (r = −0.67, p < 0.001), and right/left ratio (r = 0.42, p = 0.046); Bosco Pmean correlated moderately-to-largely with right (r = 0.48, p = 0.020) and left lateral bridge (r = 0.67, p = 0.001). A stepwise regression analysis indicated FI and BF as the most frequent predictors of core stability. The findings of the present study suggested that increased core stability was related to decreased BF and increased anaerobic capacity. A potential misbalance between torso flexors and extensors might be attributed to bidirectional variations (either high or low scores) of flexors muscle endurance rather than decreased extensors muscle endurance. View Full-Text
Keywords: human performance; muscle endurance; team sport; torso extensors; torso flexors human performance; muscle endurance; team sport; torso extensors; torso flexors
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Papadopoulou, S.D.; Zorzou, A.; Drikos, S.; Stavropoulos, N.; Knechtle, B.; Nikolaidis, P.T. Core Stability and Symmetry of Youth Female Volleyball Players: A Pilot Study on Anthropometric and Physiological Correlates. Symmetry 2020, 12, 249.

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