Effects of Static, Stationary, and Traveling Trunk Exercises on Muscle Activation

Darien T. Pyka, Pablo B. Costa, Jared W. Coburn, Lee E. Brown


Background: A new fitness trend incorporates stability exercises that challenges trunk muscles and introduces crawling as an exercise, but has yet to be investigated for muscle activity. Purpose: To compare the effects of static (STA), stationary (STN), and traveling (TRV) trunk exercises on muscle activation of the rectus abdominis, rectus femoris, external oblique, and erector spinae using surface electromyography (EMG). Methods: Seventeen recreationally active women (mean age ± SD = 22.4 ± 2.4 years, body mass 62.9 ± 6.9 kg, height 165.1 ± 5.8 cm) and twenty-three men (23.6 ±3.9 years, 83.2 ±17.1 kg, 177.1 ± 9.1 cm) volunteered to participate in this study. Subjects performed maximal voluntary contractions for normalization of each muscle’s EMG activity. They then performed the three exercises in random order for thirty seconds each with a two-minute rest in between. Results: For the rectus abdominis, STA was significantly lower than STN (P = 0.003) and TRV (P = 0.001). For the external oblique, STA was significantly lower than STN (P = 0.001) and TRV (P = 0.001) and STN was significantly greater than TRV (P = 0.009). For the erector spinae and rectus femoris, STA was significantly lower than STN (P = 0.001) and TRV (P = 0.001) Conclusions: There was greater muscle activation in all muscles tested in the stationary and traveling exercises versus the static. Strength and conditioning coaches and allied health professionals could potentially use stationary and traveling forms of trunk stabilization exercises as a viable strategy to increase muscle activation.


Electromyography, Exercise Therapy, Torso, Muscle Contraction, Postural Balance, Back Pain

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijkss.v.5n.4p.26


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