Proposal for progressive loading of the hip abductors under mechanically unstable conditions: An electromyography study

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Nejc Sarabon *
Palma Polona
Samantha Burggraf
(*) Corresponding Author:
Nejc Sarabon | Nejc.sarabon@zrs.upr.si

Abstract

The aim of this study was to test the effect of the stance width and asymmetry on muscle activation patterns during balancing on a tilt board. Eleven young healthy volunteers took part in the tests. After the standardized warm-up and customization protocol had been carried out, they balanced five times for 60 seconds on a tilt board, using a different foot position each time - (i) wide symmetrical, (ii) narrow symmetrical, (iii) moderate asymmetrical, (iv) extreme asymmetrical, and (v) single leg. Pair of electromyographic electrodes was glued over the gluteus medius muscle on both sides from which signals were acquired. The average values of the pre-processed signals were normalized and quantified. Repeated measures analysis of variance and t-tests revealed a systematic effect of the foot positions on the amount of the gluteus medius activation. Its activation was significantly increased in both asymmetrical stances when the foot was moved closer to the tilt board`s axis of rotation and most prominently when the single leg stance was used. These results point out the importance of the foot positioning for the actual muscle function while balancing on a tilt board. We believe that different levels of feet positioning asymmetry should be used for gradual loading of the extremity and for provoking activity in hip side stabilizers.

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