[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to compare the activation of the rectus abdominis (RA), external oblique abdominis (EO), lower abdominal stabilizers (LASs), and lumbar erector spinae (LES) during performance of 3 traditional trunk exercises vs. exercise on the Ab Circle device. Surface electromyography was used to assess 12 subjects (6 men, 6 women) for 6 exercise conditions, including: abdominal crunch, side bridge, quadruped, and Ab Circle levels 1-3. For the RA, the abdominal crunch elicited significantly greater activity vs. the Ab Circle level 1, and the side bridge elicited significantly greater activity vs. the Ab Circle levels 1 and 2. For the EO, the side bridge elicited significantly greater activity vs. the quadruped. No significant differences were noted between conditions for the LASs. For the LES, the side bridge and quadruped elicited significantly greater activity vs. the abdominal crunch. The results of this study indicate that the anterior, posterior, and lateral trunk musculature can be activated to similar or even greater levels by performing the 3 traditional trunk exercises vs. the Ab Circle. This was particularly evident for the side bridge exercise, which elicited significantly greater activity of the RA vs. the Ab Circle levels 1 and 2, and elicited similar activity of the EO, LASs, and LES at all 3 Ab Circle levels.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Massage for the purpose of health dates back to early civilization and more recently has been used in the management and prevention of sport injuries. Massage has also been used as part of a warm-up to help increase acute flexibility. However, the physiological benefits and mechanisms of massage are not well known. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effectiveness of 3 massage conditions on hip flexion range of motion (ROM). This experimentation involved a novel massage technique, which focused the massage on the musculotendinous junction for a short duration. Ten recreationally active women ranging from 21 to 36 years in age participated in this study. Participants were subjected to 3 massage conditions (no massage, 10-second massage, and 30-second massage) in a random order on separate days. Hip flexion angle, passive leg tension, and electromyography (EMG) were measured thrice before and within 10 seconds after the intervention. A main effect for conditions was found with the 30-second massage providing a 7.2% increase in hip flexion ROM that was significantly greater than the control condition (p < 0.05). Significant interactions occurred with an increased ROM (p < 0.05) from pre to posttests of 5.9 and 7.2% for the 10- and 30-second massage conditions, respectively. There were no significant differences in passive tension or EMG for any conditions or time. With a significant increase in hip angle and no associated increase in passive tension or EMG, there is a suggestion that 10 and 30 seconds of musculotendinous massage induces greater ROM through a modified stretch perception, increased stretch tolerance, or increased compliance of the hamstrings. Musculotendinous massage may be used as an alternative or a complement to static stretching for increasing ROM.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2010 · The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research