Tests of Core Muscle Power

by Developing the Core
Kinetic Select May 2017


This article describes two different methods for testing core muscle power. Both of the described methods utilize medicine ball throws.

The following is an exclusive excerpt from the book Developing the Core, published by Human Kinetics. All text and images provided by Human Kinetics. 

Tests that have focused on core power have utilized some type of medicine ball throw (Shinkle et al. 2012; Cowley and Swensen 2008). Shinkle et al. completed a series of static and dynamic medicine ball throws from a seated position on a bench. Four throws were completed: a forward throw (figure 2.5), a backward throw (figure 2.5), and lateral throws to the right and to the left (figure 2.5) using a 6-pound (2.7 kg) medicine ball. The upper body was held stationary for the static throws, preventing the core muscles from contributing to the throw. 

For the dynamic throws, the upper body was free to move, allowing contribution of the core muscles. The feet were not secured during any of the throws. Maximum distance for each throw was recorded. Differences between the static and dynamic throws were believed to be due to the core’s contribution.

Cowley and Swensen (2008) completed the forward medicine ball throw. The throw was performed sitting on a mat, knees bent at 90 degrees and feet shoulder-width apart. To complete the forward throw, the participant kept the elbows extended, “cradled” the ball with the hands, and leaned back into a supine position (figure 2.6 – a). When ready the participant contracted the abdominals and hip flexors, moving the upper body upward with the arms extended overhead (figure 2.6 – b). The shoulders were not allowed to extend. Maximum throw distance was measured for all throws in each study.

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