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Core stability has received considerable attention with regards to functional training in sports. Core stability provides the foundation from which power is generated in cycling. No research has described the relationship between core stability and cycling mechanics of the lower extremity. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between cycling mechanics and core stability. Hip, knee, and ankle joint kinematic and pedal force data were collected on 15 competitive cyclists while cycling untethered on a high-speed treadmill. The exhaustive cycling protocol consisted of cycling at 25.8 km[middle dot]h-1 while the grade was increased 1% every 3 minutes. A core fatigue workout was performed before the second treadmill test. Total frontal plane knee motion (test 1: 15.1 /- 6.0[degrees]; test 2: 23.3 /- 12.5[degrees]), sagittal plane knee motion (test 1: 69.9 /- 4.9[degrees]; test 2: 79.3 /- 10.1[degrees]), and sagittal plane ankle motion (test 1: 29.0 /- 8.5[degrees]; test 2: 43.0 /- 22.9[degrees]) increased after the core fatigue protocol. No significant differences were demonstrated for pedaling forces. Core fatigue resulted in altered cycling mechanics that might increase the risk of injury because the knee joint is potentially exposed to greater stress. Improved core stability and endurance could promote greater alignment of the lower extremity when riding for extended durations as the core is more resistant to fatigue.

(C) 2007 National Strength and Conditioning Association