Neuromuscular activity of trunk muscles during side plank exercise and an additional motoric-task perturbation

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Problem: Core-specific sensorimotor exercises (CSSE) combined with technically applied unexpected high-intensity perturbations (UHIP) are able to enhance neuromuscular activity of the trunk muscles (TM). Since including UHIP into clinical practice is complicated, it is warranted to implement a feasible perturbation task. Aim of the study was to analyze the effects of an additional motoric-task perturbation on trunk neuromuscular activation pattern during CSSE exercise. Methods: Ten participants (5m/5f; 29±2years; 177±7cm,74±12kg) were included and prepared with a surface EMG-setup for trunk muscles. EMG-data were collected during a side plank on stable surface (SP; 30sec) and randomly in 3 different conditions: adding a pad under the right elbow (SPP), adding a perturbation task (SP+P) and adding pad and perturbation task (SPP+P). Root mean square (RMS) was calculated for the whole exercise cycle (30sec) and normalized to MVIC (%MVIC). Muscles were grouped to ventral (VR; VL) and dorsal (DR; DL) right/left.In addition, the ratios of Ventral: Dorsal (V: D) and Side-Right: Side-Left (SR: SL) were calculated. Differences between conditions were assessed for muscle groups and ratios (repeated-measures ANOVA; α=0.05). Results: SPP+P showed the highest EMG-RMS for all muscles except DL, showing significant differences between conditions SP and SP+P in VR and VL, respectively. No differences (p<0.05) were found between SPP and SPP+P, SP+P. Ratios revealed no significant differences between conditions. Discussion: The additional motoric-task perturbation during a CSSE significantly enhanced trunk neuromuscular activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-158
Number of pages5
JournalDeutsche Zeitschrift fur Sportmedizin
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2019


  • core-stability
  • EMG
  • instability
  • sensorimotor training
  • trunk exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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