Volume 5, Issue 2 (9-2019)                   J Sport Biomech 2019, 5(2): 102-111 | Back to browse issues page

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Babakhani F, Hatefi M. Comparing the Electromyography Activity of Core Muscles During Side Plank Exercise on Stable and Unstable Surfaces. J Sport Biomech. 2019; 5 (2) :102-111
URL: http://biomechanics.iauh.ac.ir/article-1-198-en.html
1- Department of Corrective Exercises and Sport Injury, Faculty of Physical Education, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran.
2- Department of Corrective Exercises and Sport Injury, Faculty of Physical Education, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran.
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Extended Abstract
1. Introduction

Trunk stability ensures the maintenance of the spinal alignment and proper control of movements in functional activities, and is vital for the prevention and treatment of lumbar injuries, including low back pain. In this regard, several abdominal exercises with Swiss balls are used to improve core stability with strengthening and rehabilitation goals. It is claimed that stability exercises have a greater effect on activating the core muscles, but the correctness of this claim is still unclear, and few studies have compared the electrical activity of core muscles under different core stability exercises. Hence, this study aimed to compare the electromyography (EMG) activity of the core muscles under side plank exercise on stable and unstable surfaces
2. Participants and Methods
In the present study, according to the entry and exit criteria and using a convenience sampling method, 15 male students of Allameh Tabataba’i University in Tehran, Iran were selected for the study. The EMG activity, using a 16-channel surface EMG system (Bayamed Co., Iran) of gluteus medius, rectus abdominis, external oblique, and internal oblique muscles of all subjects was recorded while performing side plank exercise (2 sets of 5 seconds with a 30-second rest interval) on stable and unstable (Swiss ball) surfaces. Data from recording EMG activity of muscle with 1000 Hz sampling frequency and a bandwidth of 10-450 Hz filter (band-pass filtered), and the studied muscles were calculated and presented as Root Mean Score (RMS) and percentage of maximal voluntary isometric contraction (% MVIC) and then were normalized. LabVIEW software (National Instruments, Austin, TX) was used to analyze raw signals. The raw were summarized in Excel and analyzed in SPSS v.21. To test the normality of data distribution, the Shapiro-Wilk test, was used, and paired t-test was used to compare the results between the two different plank conditions. The significance level was set at P<0.05.
3. Results
The results of the statistical test (Table 1) showed a significant difference in the EMG activity of gluteus medius, external oblique and rectus abdominis muscles between conditions of with and without Swiss ball (P<0.05), but no significant difference was observed in the EMG activity of the internal oblique muscle (P>0.05).
4. Conclusion
Side plank exercise on unstable surfaces (Swiss ball) cause significant changes in EMG activity of gluteus medius, external oblique and rectus abdominis muscles compared to when the exercise is performed on a stable surface, and highly involved pelvic lumbar muscles affecting core stability. Therefore, the use of side plank exercise on unstable surfaces in a progressive program with gradually increased intensity can be effective in strengthening and using muscle contractions useful for core stability.
Ethical Considerations
Compliance with ethical guidelines
All subjects participated in the present study voluntarily after signing a consent form. 
This study was extracted from a research proposal approved by Allameh Tabataba'i University.
Authors' contributions
All authors contributed equally in preparing this article.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declared no conflict of interest.
Type of Study: Applicable | Subject: Special
Received: 2019/12/18 | Accepted: 2019/12/22 | Published: 2019/09/1

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