METHODS: Surface electrodes recorded the myoelectric activity of trunk muscles during bridging exercises. Bridging exercises were performed on the floor as well as on a labile surface (Swiss ball).
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: During the prone bridge the addition of an exercise ball resulted in increased myoelectric activity in the rectus abdominis and external oblique. The internal oblique and erector spinae were not influenced. The addition of a swiss ball during supine bridging did not influence trunk muscle activity for any muscles studied.
CONCLUSION: The addition of a Swiss ball is capable of influencing trunk muscle activity in the rectus abdominis and external oblique musculature during prone bridge exercises. Modifying common bridging exercises can influence the amount of trunk muscle activity, suggesting that exercise routines can be designed to maximize or minimize trunk muscle exertion depending on the needs of the exercise population.
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