Monday, 9 January 2012

Skill is Task Specific

A section within our paper published last year discussed the issue of specificity in exercise concluding, as many others have, that skill transference between superficially specific tasks is in fact quite low including that no evidence supports the transference of balance between tasks that are designed to train balance i.e. stability exercise, and other tasks i.e. sports performance.

A relatively recent paper authored by a friend who I attended school with also lends support to that notion.

Influence of dynamic versus static core exercises on performance in field based fitness tests.

Minimal evidence supports the claim that core stability training transfers into improved performance and the most effective training method to perform core exercises is still unknown. The purpose of the study was to compare the effects of a 6 week unstable static versus unstable dynamic core training program, on field based fitness tests. A static (n = 6) and dynamic (n = 6) training group performed two 45 min sessions per week for six weeks. Seven performance tests, consisting of three core (plank; double leg lowering; back extensions), one static (standing stork) and three dynamic (overhead medicine ball throw; vertical jump; 20 m sprint), were administered pre- and post training. Between group differences were assessed using a repeated measures MANOVA (P < 0.05). Both training groups improved in each of the core tests (P < 0.05). Neither training group demonstrated improvement in the dynamic field based tests (medicine ball throw, vertical jump height and 20 m sprint) (P > 0.05). Findings indicate that both types of training improved specific measures of core stability but did not transfer into any sport-related skill.

The results of this study support the fact that improvements in skill are task specific. Both the static and dynamic core training groups improved in the core tests, however, neither improved in any of the other tests used.

As always, seperate physical conditioning from skill conditioning.

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