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J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Nov;24(11):3133-9. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181ddb308.

Electromyographic muscle activity in curl-up exercises with different positions of upper and lower extremities.

Author information

1
Biomechanical Analysis Laboratory, Department of Biomechanics, University School of Physical Education, Wroclaw, Poland. alicja.rutkowskakucharska@awf.wroc.pl

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the electromyographic (EMG) activity of muscles in curl-up exercises depending on the position of the upper and lower extremities. From the perspective of biomechanics, different positions of the extremities result in shifting the center of gravity and changing muscular loads in abdominal strength exercises. The subjects of the research were 3 healthy students (body mass 53-56 kg and height 163-165 cm) with no history of low back pain or abdominal surgery. Subjects completed 18 trials for each of the 9 exercises (static curl-up with 3 positions of the upper and 3 position of the lower extremities). The same experiment with the same subjects was conducted on the next day. The EMG activity of rectus abdominis (RA), erector spinae (ES), and quadriceps femoris-long head (rectus femoris [RF]) was examined during the exercises. The surface electrical activity was recorded for the right and left sides of each muscle. The raw data for each muscle were rectified and integrated. The statistical analysis showed that changing the position of upper extremities in the examined exercises affects the EMG activity of RA and ES but does not significantly affect the EMG activity of RF. Additionally, it was found that curl-up exercises with the upper extremities extended behind the head and the lower extremities flexed at 90° in the hip and knee joints involve RA with the greatest intensity, whereas curl-up exercises with the upper extremities extended along the trunk and the lower extremities flexed at 90° in the hip and knee joints involve RA with the lowest intensity.

PMID:
20940638
DOI:
10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181ddb308
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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