Electromyographic activity of selected trunk and hip muscles during a squat lift. Effect of varying the lumbar posture

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1994 Mar 15;19(6):687-95. doi: 10.1097/00007632-199403001-00008.


Electromyographic (EMG) activity of selected hip and trunk muscles was recorded during a squat lift, and the effects of two different lumbar spine postures were examined. Seven muscles were analyzed: rectus abdominis (RA), abdominal obliques (AO), erector spinae (ES), latissimus dorsi (LD), gluteus maximus (GM), biceps femoris (BF), and semitendinosus (ST). The muscles were chosen for their attachments to the thoracolumbar fascia and their potential to act on the trunk, pelvis, and hips. Seventeen healthy male subjects participated in the study. Each subject did three squat lifts with a 157-N crate, with the spine in both a lordotic and kyphotic posture. The lift was divided into four equal periods. EMG activity of each muscle was quantified for each period and normalized to the peak amplitude of a maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC). A two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) for repeated measures was used to analyze the effects of posture on the amplitude and timing of EMG activity during the lift. Two patterns of EMG activity were seen: a trunk muscle pattern (RA, AO, ES, and LD) and a hip extensor pattern (GM, BF, ST). In the trunk muscle pattern (TP), EMG activity was greatest in the first quarter and decreased as the lift progressed. In the hip extensor pattern (HP), EMG activity was least in the first quarter, increased in the second and third quarters, and decreased in the final phase of the lift. Differences (P < .05) were seen among subjects and in the timing of the muscle activity in all muscles.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electromyography
  • Hip*
  • Humans
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Male
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Posture*
  • Thorax*
  • Weight Lifting*