Associations Between Balance and Muscle Strength, Power Performance in Male Youth Athletes of Different Maturity Status

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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Balance, strength and power relationships may contain important information at various maturational stages to determine training priorities.

Purpose:

The objective was to examine maturity-specific relationships of static/dynamic balance with strength and power measures in young male athletes.

Methods:

Soccer players (N = 130) aged 10–16 were assessed with the Stork and Y balance (YBT) tests. Strength/power measures included back extensor muscle strength, standing long jump (SLJ), countermovement jump (CMJ), and 3-hop jump tests. Associations between balance with strength/power variables were calculated according to peak-height-velocity (PHV).

Results:

There were significant medium-large sized correlations between all balance measures with back extensor strength (r = .486–.791) and large associations with power (r = .511–.827). These correlation coefficients were significantly different between pre-PHV and circa PHV as well as pre-PHV and post-PHV with larger associations in the more mature groups. Irrespective of maturity-status, SLJ was the best strength/power predictor with the highest proportion of variance (12–47%) for balance (i.e., Stork eyes opened) and the YBT was the best balance predictor with the highest proportion of variance (43–78%) for all strength/power variables.

Conclusion:

The associations between balance and muscle strength/power measures in youth athletes that increase with maturity may imply transfer effects from balance to strength/power training and vice versa in youth athletes.

Hammami, Chaouachi, and Makhlouf are with the Tunisian Research Laboratory, Sport Performance Optimization, National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia. Granacher is with the Division of Training and Movement Sciences, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany. Behm is with the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

Address author correspondence to David G. Behm at dbehm@mun.ca.
Pediatric Exercise Science