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Russell Lowell, MS – Graduate Student Assistant, Liberty University

Madeline Phillips

Hannah Nelson, MS, CSCS – Graduate Student Assistant, Liberty University

Moroni De Moors

Abigail R. McCarty – Student, Liberty University

Abrahan Frech

Anna Blackley

Jared Hornsby – Assistant Professor, Liberty University

Jeffrey Simpson – Assistant Professor, University of West Florida

Andy M. Bosak, PhD, CSCS, *D, EP-C – Director and Professor, Graduate Exercise Science Programs, Liberty University


Balance control is considered a fundamental aspect of sport performance. When changes of the center of gravity (COG) occur, center of pressure (COP) is increased to counter the shift in the COG. An athlete’s ability to reduce their postural sway and maintain an upright position would suggest good postural control. For this to occur, contractions of the muscles within the trunk and legs are produced to regain balance. Therefore, to reduce postural sway, athletes need muscular strength within their postural muscles. Based on the significance of muscular strength in the trunk and leg muscles during postural control, one may assume that there could be a correlation between the amount of trunk lean mass (TLM) and leg lean mass (LLM) and balance. However, as a consequence of exercise, fatigue can alter an athlete’s ability to produce the required muscular contractions within the postural muscles to maintain an upright position. Therefore, this could cause a shift of the COG and an increase in the COP. This would suggest that during fatigue, there is a greater dependence on these muscles to reduce changes in center of pressure. In opposition to TLM and LLM, higher body fat percentage (BF%) can have an effect on fatigue and induce a negative impact on balance control. To the best of the researchers’ knowledge, the effect of fatigue on the relationship between body composition and balance has not been assessed. PURPOSE:To examine the relationship between TLM, LLM, and BF% and balance in the anterior-posterior (X) and medial-lateral (Y) direction pre- and post- fatigue. METHODS:16 averagely fit college-age males had their descriptive data collected. TLM, LLM, and BF% was assessed via a Body Composition Analysis System. Subjects completed 3 double leg balance trials with their eyes open on force plates. Immediately after balance trials, subjects performed a plyometric specific warmup. After 4 minutes of passive recovery, each subject completed a plyometric fatiguing protocol. Subjects then repeated the 3 balance trials. Pearson Correlations were performed between TLM, LLM, BF% and balance with significance at p < 0.05. RESULTS:Correlations were only shown during post-fatigue in the anterior-posterior (X) direction for TLM (r = 0.451, p= 0.040), LLM (r = 0.391, p= 0.067), and BF% (r = 0.202, p= 0.227) CONCLUSIONS:The relationship between TLM, LLM, and BF% and balance seems to have a low to moderate relationship in averagely fit college-age males. PRACTICAL APPLICATION: The results of the present study suggest that athletes may resist fatigue better at a lower body fat percentage and increased lean mass.


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