Not only static: Stabilization manoeuvres in dynamic exercises - A pilot study

PLoS One. 2018 Aug 8;13(8):e0201017. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0201017. eCollection 2018.


This study examined characteristics of trunk muscles electrical activity in young adults performed in the course of static and dynamic trunk muscles strengthening exercises using different lumbar spine stabilization manoeuvres. Twenty young adults (Mage = 25.5 SD = 2.91) participated in this study. Of the 20, 11 subjects (5 males and 6 females) reported no history of pain, 9 subjects (5 males and 4 females) reported lower back pain (LBP) within the last three months. Subjects performed lumbar spine stabilization manoeuvres (abdominal bracing (AB) and abdominal hollowing (AH)) with static and dynamic abdominal muscles strengthening exercises (i.e., plank, side-bridges, and curl-ups). Noraxon Telemyo twelve channel electromyography device (Noraxon USA, Inc.) was used to record EMG data from rectus abdominal muscle (RA), external oblique muscles (EO), internal oblique muscles (IO), and erector spine muscles (ES). In static exercises such as side-bridge exercise, significantly higher RA muscle electrical activity was recorded with AB manoeuvre compared to AH manoeuvre both on the right side and left side respectively (Z = -2.17; p = 0.03; Z = 3.40; p = 0.001). In dynamic exercises such as curl-up exercise, during the lifting phase, median value of RA muscle activity with AB was significantly higher than with AH (Z = -2.315; p = 0.021). Median value of IO muscles activity with AH was significantly higher than with AB (Z = -3.230; p = 0.001). Our findings indicated that although surface muscles are more activated with AB manoeuvre exercises, deep abdominal muscles are more activated in exercises with AH manoeuvre. These findings can help practitioners design interventions to integrate AH manoeuvre for benefiting persons with lumbar instability.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Muscles / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Back Muscles / physiology
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiology
  • Lumbosacral Region / physiology
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Rectus Abdominis / physiology
  • Torso / anatomy & histology
  • Torso / physiology*
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.