The Effect of Eight-Week Functional Core Training on Core Stability in Young Rhythmic Gymnasts: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Cristina Cabrejas, Mónica Solana-Tramunt, Jose Morales, Josep Campos-Rius, Alberto Ortegón, Ainhoa Nieto-Guisado, Eduardo Carballeira

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


It is suggested that core stability (CS) might improve rhythmic gymnasts’ performance. Nev-ertheless, the effect of core stability training (CST) in CS performance is not clear. Purpose: Evaluating the effect of an eight-week functional CST on young rhythmics gymnasts’ CS performance. Method: A sample of 45 young female rhythmic gymnasts from a competitive team (age = 10.5 ± 1.8 years, height = 144.1 ± 10.6 cm, weight 38.2 ± 8.9 kg, peak height velocity (PHV) = 12.2 ± 0.6 years) participated in the study. The participants were randomly allocated into the control group (CG) and experimental group (EG) and completed pre-tests and post-tests of specific CS tests using a pressure biofeedback unit (PBU). The CS was assessed by the bent knee fall out (BKFO), the active straight leg raise (ASLR) tests and the pelvic tilt test, all performed on the right and left sides. The EG (n = 23) performed an eight-week functional CST program based on rhythmic gymnastics (RG) technical requirements added to the traditional RG training sessions. Meanwhile, the CG (n = 22) received the traditional RG training sessions. Results: Mixed model analysis showed non-significant interaction effects; however, the ANOVA omnibus test showed a time effect (p < 0.05) in right BKFO (F1,42 = 4.60; p = 0.038) and both pelvic tilt tests (right F1,42 = 22.01, p < 0.001; left F1,42 = 19.13, p < 0.001). There were non-significant interaction effects. The fixed effects estimated parameters for right BKFO showed that both groups had less pressure variation after intervention compared with pre-intervention (β = −1.85 mmHg, 95%CI = [−3.54 to −0.16], t42 = −2.14, p = 0.038). Furthermore, the left pelvic tilt (β = 37.0 s, 95%CI = [20.4 to 53.6], t42 = 4.37, p < 0.001) improved 8.9 s more than the right pelvic tilt (β = 28.1 s, 95%CI = [16.3 to 39.8], t42 = 4.69, p < 0.001) considering both groups together. Conclusions: Adding a functional CST to regular training showed a trend in improving the performance of CS-related variables, which could help improve RG-specific performance. Coaches working with rhythmic gymnasts should consider adding a functional CST to regular training to improve CS performance leading to increased specific RG performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3509
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Active straight leg raise
  • Bent knee fall out
  • Core motor control
  • Lumbopelvic motor control
  • Lumbopelvic-training
  • Pelvic tilt test
  • Rhythmic gymnastics performance


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