Effects of equine riding on static and dynamic mechanical contraction of the thighs and trunk muscles in inactive women

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2021;34(4):521-535. doi: 10.3233/BMR-200008.


Background and objective: This study investigated whether equine riding affects static or dynamic mechanical contractions on the thighs and trunk muscles in inactive women.

Methods: Participants consisted of 30 women with a mean (SD) age of 21.06 (0.44) years. They were randomly allotted as follows: equine group (EQG, n= 15) and control group (CON, n= 15). Two types of muscle contraction properties in their thighs and trunk were measured through a tensiomyography (static muscle tester) and an isokinetic device (dynamic muscle tester), respectively. Using the body weights of EQG and CON as covariates, a 2-way between-groups multivariate analysis of covariance was used to investigate group differences in the mechanical quantification of the thighs and trunk.

Results: The effectiveness of 8 weeks of equine riding was hardly observed in a static muscle test, whereas in the dynamic muscle test, the dominant and non-dominant hip extensor/flexor, the dominant hip abductor/adductor, and trunk extensor in the EQG showed a significant increase, compared to no changes in the CON.

Conclusions: This study did not find any particular differences in a static muscle test in inactive women, but showed improvements in the dynamic mechanical properties of the thighs and trunk, which are major muscle groups related to spinal alignment.

Keywords: Equine exercise; dynamic muscle contraction; static muscle contraction; tensiomyography.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy*
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Myography
  • Spine
  • Thigh
  • Torso
  • Young Adult