Effect of a Lumbar Support Device on Muscle Activity During Abdominal Exercise

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The purpose of this study was to investigate abdominal, hip flexor, and low back muscle activation during six abdominal exercises performed both with and without a lumbar support device. Myoelectric activity was monitored with surface electrodes over the upper and lower rectus abdominis, rectus femoris, and the L3 level of erector spinae as 32 male subjects performed the six exercises recommended in the product instruction manual both with and without the product. Significant (p < 0.0125) differences in myoelectric activity were found across some but not all levels of exercise difficulty, but no difference was found at any of the four muscle sites between exercises performed with as compared to without the lumbar support device. These findings contradict the notion that a lumbar support device isolates the abdominal muscles during abdominal exercise performance.

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