Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Gymnastics for girls--Physiological aspects; Backache--Prevention; Exercise==Physiological aspects;


Context: Gymnasts are seen practicing and competing even though they are reporting high levels of low back pain that can hinder their career if not resolved. Therefore, it may be beneficial for gymnasts to train key muscles in the lumbopelvic region to decrease those symptoms and prevent future injury. This study assesses the effects of lumbopelvic stabilization training in young, non-elite, community-based gymnasts. Objective: Measure the effectiveness of core stability training on lumbar muscle endurance, lumbo-pelvic stabilization, abdominal strength and balance in adolescent female gymnasts and examine the effect of these interventions on the occurrence of low back pain. Design: Clinical prospective with 13 female gymnasts from a local gymnastics club. Methods: Participants were randomly allocated to either a lumbo-pelvic intervention group or yoga group in which they performed specific exercises for a total of 6 weeks. Four pre- and post-measurements tests were conducted on the participants before and after the 6-week intervention. Main Outcome Results: Biering-Sorensen Test, Lumbo-pelvic Control Test, Side Bridge Test, and Star Excursion Balance Test; low back pain log books. Results: Relationship between pre- and post-scores for the Biering-Sorensen Test revealed statistically greater results for the lumbopelvic group compared to the yoga group (p = .033. An ANCOVA showed statistically significant group differences (p = .043). Relationship between pre- and post-scores for the Lumbopelvic Control Test was statistical significance (p = .040) but the difference scores from pre- to post were not. Relationship between the right and left Side Bridge was statistical significance (p = .015; p = .001), respectively, and scores from pre to post were statistically greater for the yoga group (p = .039). ANCOVA results showed statistically significant group differences (p = .036). Results from a MANOVA revealed a statistically significant finding for group difference at post-test on the left side (p = .052). Out of the six fully completed log books, the yoga group showed less occurrence of low back pain compared to the lumbopelvic group. Conclusion: Those in the lumbo-pelvic group showed greater improvements from pre- to post-test scores in comparison to the yoga group for the development of muscle lumbar endurance and may be a better option for this aspect than yoga. Results from the left Side Bridge Test showed the yoga group influenced the development of lateral core stabilizer endurance more so than the lumbo-pelvic exercises. Overall, there were improvements in both groups for the Side Bridge Test, indicating both positively influence lateral stability. Results for the Lumbopelvic Control test suggests that the yoga and lumbo-pelvic interventions are equally effective for front-on stability. Log books revealed that some of the participants remained pain-free while some had both an increase and/or decrease throughout. The importance of core stability is viewed as being pivotal for efficient biomechanical function to maximize force generation and minimize joint loads in all types of activities associated with gymnastics. This study sets the basis for further research on the incidence of low back pain in young gymnasts and the effects of lumbo-pelvic stabilization exercises as a preventative matter.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Science


School of Kinesiology, Allied Health, and Human Services

First Advisor

Mark Hecimovich

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (viii, 78 pages)



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