Masters Theses


Gary L. Hall

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Human Performance and Sport

Major Professor

Wendell Liemohn


The purpose of this study was to compare the outcomes of two different abdominal fitness training regimens on their ability to stabilize the core as quantitatively measured by the Stabilometer®. Twenty-four healthy, college age men and women from the University of Tennessee Anny Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program ( mean age 22.4 years, 20 men and 4 women) volunteered to participate in this study. These cadets were already participating in a rigorous, thrice weekly exercise regimen, which emphasized sagittal plane abdominal strengthening exercises. Subjects were randomly assigned to either the medicine ball group, which performed multi-plane medicine ball exercises in addition to the existing exercise regimen or the control group, which continued to perform the existing thrice weekly, sagittal plane abdominal strengthening exercises for a period of six weeks. Subjects underwent pre and post testing utilizing the Stabilometer®, a dynamic, stability platform originally engineered to measure standing balance. This platform was connected to a counter and timer that measured the number of times the platform moved outside a predetermined arc of 10 degrees, as well as the total amount of time the platform stayed out of the 10 degree arc in the 30 second testing period. Four different test positions, in supine and kneeling_ positions, captured data in the frontal, sagittal and transverse planes. Data were analyzed using pair-wise comparison t-tests. Level of significance·was set at a = .05. The medicine ball intervention group improved significantly in 5 of the 8 tests, 3 in total amount of time out of the testing arc and 2 for the number of times out of the testing arc. However, the control group also improved significantly in 5 of the 8 tests, 2 in the total amount of time and 3 in the number of times. The results of this study were inconclusive in suggesting that multi-plane medicine ball exercise improves core stability as measured by the Stabilometer®. A high degree of existing abdominal strength, coupled with an intervention of insufficient length and intensity may provide an explanation for the lack of significant difference found between the groups.

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