Comparison of trunk activity during gait initiation and walking in humans

PLoS One. 2009 Dec 7;4(12):e8193. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0008193.


To understand the role of trunk muscles in maintenance of dynamic postural equilibrium we investigate trunk movements during gait initiation and walking, performing trunk kinematics analysis, Erector spinae muscle (ES) recordings and dynamic analysis. ES muscle expressed a metachronal descending pattern of activity during walking and gait initiation. In the frontal and horizontal planes, lateroflexion and rotation occur before in the upper trunk and after in the lower trunk. Comparison of ES muscle EMGs and trunk kinematics showed that trunk muscle activity precedes corresponding kinematics activity, indicating that the ES drive trunk movement during locomotion and thereby allowing a better pelvis mobilization. EMG data showed that ES activity anticipates propulsive phases in walking with a repetitive pattern, suggesting a programmed control by a central pattern generator. Our findings also suggest that the programs for gait initiation and walking overlap with the latter beginning before the first has ended.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Electromyography
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Leg / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Thorax / physiology*
  • Walking / physiology*
  • Young Adult