*WINNER* What is the Relationship Between Balance and Core Strength?
Balance is a key factor in sports rehabilitation, training, and performance. It has been suggested that strengthening the core muscles may improve balance. Studies have reported (Ambegaonkar et al., 2014; Kahle & Gribble, 2009) that core strength may be related to balance; however, other studies (Gordon et al., 2013; Ozmen, 2016) have stated that further research is needed to determine the correlation. The purpose of the study was to determine if there was a relationship between balance and core strength. Twenty-one Tennessee Tech Exercise Science students were selected to participate, with ages ranging from 20 to 25 years old; additionally, seven Division 1 athletes were included in our sample. All participants performed a modified version of the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT), a functional screening tool to assess balance, in addition to the McGill’s Lateral Musculature Plank Test, which evaluates the strength of the core muscles essential to stabilizing the back. The authors hypothesized that there would be a positive correlation between balance and core strength, and our results justified that by showing an r-value of 0.33, which was positive and weak. The r-value of 0.33 was not significant at alpha = .05. While further research should be conducted with a larger sample size to determine what other factor(s) provide a higher degree of explanatory value, our findings will benefit individuals or sports professionals, such as coaches or rehabilitation therapists, who are looking for more information about how balance relates to core strength.