Effects of Physioball and Conventional Floor Exercises on Early Phase Adaptations in Back and Abdominal Core Stability and Balance in Women

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Abstract

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of 5 weeks of physioball core stability and balance exercises with conventional floor exercises in women. The experimental group (n = 15) performed curl-ups and back extensions on the physioball while the control group (n = 15) performed the same exercises on the floor. Baseline and post-training tests included electromyography (EMG) recordings of the rectus abdominus and erector spinae muscles; abdominal, back, and knee strength measurements with the Cybex Norm System; and 2 unilateral stance balance tests. The physioball group was found to have significantly greater mean change in EMG flexion and extension activity (p = 0.04 and p = 0.01, respectively) and greater balance scores (p < 0.01) than the floor exercise group. No significant changes (p > 0.05) were observed for heart rate or Cybex strength measurements. Early adaptations in a short-term core exercise program using the physioball resulted in greater gains in torso balance and EMG neuronal activity in previously untrained women when compared to performing exercises on the floor.

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