CONTEXT: Injuries involving the lumbar spine and lower extremities in athletes are among the most disabling. Lack of trunk and hip strength may predispose athletes to such injuries.
OBJECTIVE: To measure trunk endurance and hip strength in a population of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III athletes.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional design of 5 collegiate athletic teams. Setting: An athletic training facility during preparticipation physical examinations.
PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS: 105 Division III athletes.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): The series of tests included the 60-second back-extension endurance and 60-second tall-kneeling tests. The scores of these tests were reported in repetitions. A handheld dynamometer was used to measure maximal hip external rotation strength bilaterally. The double-leg lowering test was measured in degrees, and the Star Excursion Balance Test was measured in 4 directions as a percentage of the subject's leg length. Descriptive statistics were calculated for each exercise and each team.
RESULTS: The average score for the 60-second back-extension endurance test was 53 +/- 13 repetitions. The 60-second tall-kneeling test had an average score of 30 +/- 8 repetitions. For the 2 hip external-rotation strength tests, the average score was 7 +/- 4 kg (12% +/- 6% of body weight). Average scores were 50 degrees +/- 10 degrees for the double-leg lowering test and 94 +/- 9 cm (105% +/- 9 % of leg length) for the Star Excursion Balance Test.
CONCLUSIONS: The descriptive data from these trunk and hip tests allow for the development of baseline values for each test. By investigating these measures in an athletic population, we hope to provide health care professionals with further insights about the trunk and hip muscle performance in athletes to prevent and rehabilitate athletic injuries.
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