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Electromyographic comparison of the upper and lower rectus abdominis during abdominal exercises.

Authors
  • Clark, Kathryn M
  • Holt, Laurence E
  • Sinyard, Joy
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association
Publication Date
Aug 01, 2003
Volume
17
Issue
3
Pages
475–483
Identifiers
PMID: 12930172
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The objective of this pilot study was to determine the effect of 6 different abdominal exercises on the electrical activity of the upper rectus abdominis (URA) and lower rectus abdominis (LRA). Eight healthy, adult volunteers completed 6 random abdominal exercises: curl up, Sissel ball curl up, Ab Trainer curl up, leg lowering, Sissel ball roll out, and reverse curl up. Action potentials were recorded and analyzed from the URA and the LRA using surface electromyography (EMG) during a 2-second concentric contraction. The average normalized data were compared between the URA and the LRA in order to determine the behavior of the different muscle sites and between exercises in order to determine which exercises elicited the highest EMG activity. There were no significant differences (p > 0.05) between the EMG activity of the URA and LRA during any exercise. There were no significant interactions between subject and muscle site or between exercise and muscle site. Significant differences were found among the 6 exercises performed, and due to the interaction between subject and exercise performed. Both the URA and the LRA recorded significantly higher mean amplitudes during the Sissel ball curl up than during all other exercises. In addition, the curl up, Sissel ball curl up, and Ab Trainer curl up had significantly higher normalized EMG activity in both muscle sites than the reverse curl up, the leg lowering exercise, and the Sissel ball roll out. The curl up and the Ab Trainer curl up exercises were not significantly different in terms of their normalized EMG activities for both the URA and the LRA.

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