Document Detail

Abdominal and hip flexor muscle activity during two-minutes of sit-ups and curl-ups.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23207881     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
ABSTRACT: Previous studies have compared muscle activity between different types of sit-ups and curl-ups. However, few have examined exercises used by the armed forces or investigated the influence of exercise duration on muscle activation. The aim of this study was to compare abdominal and hip flexor activity between the style of sit-up used by the British Army and four variations of a curl-up, at the start, middle and end of a 2 min exercise period. Surface electromyograms (EMGs) were recorded from the upper and lower rectus abdominis, external oblique, transversus abdominis/internal oblique, and the rectus femoris (RF) of 23 British Army personnel. Isometric maximal voluntary contractions were used to normalize integrated EMGs to allow them to be compared between exercises. Curl-ups with arms crossed and feet restrained produced the highest integrated EMG in all of the abdominal muscles (p<0.05). Feet restrained sit-ups and curl-ups also resulted in significantly higher activity in the RF than non-restrained versions of the curl-up (p<0.001). The significant increase observed in muscle activity between the start and the end of the exercises (p<0.001) was deemed to be in response to a reduction in force producing capacity of existing motor units. The RF experienced the greatest increase during exercises that activated the muscle the most; i.e. sit-ups and curl-ups with feet restrained (p<0.001). Previous research has indicated that such exercises produce high shear and compressive forces in the lower back, which can be injurious. Thus, if an organisation wishes to assess the endurance of abdominal muscles, rather than hip flexors, then curl-ups without restraint of the feet should be performed instead of exercises in which the feet are restrained.
Adrian M Burden; Colin Redmond
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-11-30
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1533-4287     ISO Abbreviation:  J Strength Cond Res     Publication Date:  2012 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-12-4     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9415084     Medline TA:  J Strength Cond Res     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
*Department of Exercise and Sport Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK †Physiotherapy Department, Borders General Hospital, UK.
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