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Phys Ther Sport. 2014 Feb;15(1):39-46. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2013.02.006. Epub 2013 Jun 14.

Gluteal muscle activation during the isometric phase of squatting exercises with and without a Swiss ball.

Author information

1
Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine, William Harvey Research Institute, Bart's and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Hospital, Bancroft Road, London E1 4DG, UK.
2
Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine, William Harvey Research Institute, Bart's and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Hospital, Bancroft Road, London E1 4DG, UK. Electronic address: d.morrissey@qmul.ac.uk.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Growing evidence supports hip muscle activation and strengthening exercise prescription to prevent and treat various lower limb injuries. Common prescriptions include single-legged and double-legged squatting, with and without a Swiss ball. We aimed to establish the effect of varying forms of squatting exercises on gluteal muscle activation.

DESIGN AND SETTING:

Observational laboratory study.

PARTICIPANTS:

Nineteen (11 male) healthy participants (28.4 +/- 2.7 years old) were compared using one-way repeated measures analysis of variance.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Surface electromyography (EMG) measures of gluteus medius (GMed) and gluteus maximus (GMax) during the isometric phase of single-legged and double-legged squatting, with and without a Swiss ball.

RESULTS:

A greater percentage of maximal voluntary contraction (%MVC) during single-legged squatting was found compared to double-legged squatting for GMed (42 versus 9%MVC, p < 0.001) and GMax (35 versus 14%MVC, p < 0.001). Additionally, the Swiss ball increased GMax activity (42 versus 35%MVC, p = 0.026) and demonstrated a trend toward increased GMed activity (46 versus 42%MVC, p = 0.075) during the single-legged squat.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results indicate single-legged squatting may be more appropriate than double-legged squatting to facilitate strength gains of GMed and GMax. Additionally, the Swiss ball may be a useful adjunct to target gluteal muscle strengthening during single-legged squatting.

KEYWORDS:

Electromyography; Gluteal; Hip; Squat; Swiss ball

PMID:
23770356
DOI:
10.1016/j.ptsp.2013.02.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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