School of Health and Human Performance, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Australia
Stanton, R., P. Reaburn, and B. Humphries. The effect of short-term Swiss ball training on core stability and running economy. J. Strength Cond. Res. 18(3):522–528. 2004.—The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a short-term Swiss ball training on core stability and running economy. Eighteen young male athletes (15.5 ± 1.4 years; 62.5 ± 4.7 kg; Σ9 skinfolds 78.9 ± 28.2 mm; O2max 55.3 ± 5.7 ml·kg−1·min−1) were divided into a control (n = 10) and experimental (n = 8) groups. Athletes were assessed before and after the training program for stature, body mass, core stability, electromyographic activity of the abdominal and back muscles, treadmill O2max, running economy, and running posture. The experimental group performed 2 Swiss ball training sessions per week for 6 weeks. Data analysis revealed a significant effect of Swiss ball training on core stability in the experimental group (p < 0.05). No significant differences were observed for myoelectric activity of the abdominal and back muscles, treadmill O2max, running economy, or running posture in either group. It appears Swiss ball training may positively affect core stability without concomitant improvements in physical performance in young athletes. Specificity of exercise selection should be considered.