A self-oblique exercise that activates the coordinated activity of abdominal and hip muscles-A pilot study

PLoS One. 2021 Aug 12;16(8):e0255035. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0255035. eCollection 2021.


The importance of an interaction between trunk stability muscles and hip muscle function has been suggested. However, reported exercises rarely act on the trunk and hip muscles simultaneously. Here, we devised an abdominal oblique and hip muscle exercise, the Self-oblique exercise (SOE). We examined whether SOE activated abdominal and hip muscles in the supine and half-kneeling positions, compared with abdominal crunch (AC) and plank exercises; and whether participants could modulate the exercise load. Participants were 20 healthy males with some sports experience such as football and baseball on average 10.5 ± 4.0 years. Participants applied self-pressure to their right thighs using the contralateral upper limb with 40% or 70% of the maximum force in Supine SOE and Half- kneeling SOE. The following abdominal and hip muscles were measured using surface electromyography: bilateral external obliques (EO), bilateral internal obliques (IO), right rectus abdominis, right gluteus medius (GMed), and right adductor longus (ADD). All evaluated muscle groups showed significant differences between exercises (p < 0.001). Supine SOE-70% showed 80.4% maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) for left EO (p < 0.017), 61.4% MVC for right IO (p < 0.027), 24.3% MVC for GMed (p < 0.002), and 42.4% MVC for ADD (p < 0.004); these were significantly greatest among all exercises. Muscle activity during Supine SOE-70% was greater than that during Supine SOE-40%. Similarly, Half-kneeling SOE-40% promoted abdominal and hip muscle exertion, and showed more significant activity in GMed (p < 0.006) and ADD (p < 0.001) than AC and plank. SOE could activate abdominal and hip muscles depends on the pressure applied by upper limb. Also, SOE allows participants to modulate the exercise load in a self-controlled step by step manner. Modulation of the exercise load is difficult in AC or plank compared to SOE, and AC or plank cannot obtain simultaneous oblique and hip muscle activity. SOE could be practiced anywhere, in various positions, without any tools.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Muscles / physiology*
  • Electromyography
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Hip / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Young Adult

Grant support

This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP21K17531 to YN. The funder had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.