Ronald Lee Snarr, Ashleigh Von Hallmark, Michael R Esco


The purpose of this study was to compare the electromyographic (EMG) activity of global trunk musculature during common training exercises. Twenty apparently healthy men (age 25.9 ± 5.6 years; height 175.22 ± 8.46 cm; weight 81.28 ± 6.86 kg) and women (age 22.8 ± 1.81 years; height 166.06 ± 8.47 cm; weight 63.03 ± 10.38 kg) volunteered to participate in this study. Surface electrodes were placed on the RA, EO, LSES and RF. Subjects then performed five repetitions of four common abdominal movements (crunch (C), pike (PK), V-up (VUP), and towel pike (TP)). Means (± SD) for the percent maximal voluntary contractions (%MVC) were measured for each participant during each exercise.

For the RA, the VUP provided significantly greater activity compared to all other exercises; while PK showed the significantly lowest. In terms of the EO, TP elicited the significantly greatest muscle activation; whereas the C provided the lowest EO values. For the RF, the TP had the greatest activity and C the lowest. Lastly, the C and PK provided significantly lower activity in the LSES compared to the TP and VUP.

Results indicate that EMG activity increased during exercises which involved greater ranges of motion, stability demands, and incorporation of body weight resistance (i.e., TP and V-up). Overall, the TP and VUP exercises provided the greatest activation of the examined musculature compared to the standard C and PK. Determining proper movements for the athlete or client can be made based upon the necessary muscular activation levels of the exercises examined within the current manuscript.


EMG, Core, Resistance Training, performance

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