Effect of Craniocervical Flexion on Muscle Activities of Abdominal and Cervical Muscles During Abdominal Curl-Up Exercise

  • Yoon, Tae-Lim (Applied Kinesiology and Ergonomic Technology Laboratory) ;
  • Kim, Ki-Song (Dept. of Physical Therapy, College of Natural Science, Hoseo University)
  • Received : 2013.09.10
  • Accepted : 2013.10.31
  • Published : 2013.11.19


Abdominal curl-up exercise may excessively increased superficial neck flexor such as sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle. Also, the muscle activity of the abdominal muscles haven't investigated during abdominal curl-up with craniocervical flexion (CCF). Therefore, the purpose of our study was to determine the effect of CCF on the muscle activity of the abdominal and SCM muscles during abdominal curl-up. Twelve healthy subjects (six men and six women) with no history of abdominal or lower back pain within 6 weeks were recruited. Surface electromyographic signals were collected on SCM, rectus abdominis (RA), internal oblique (IO), and external oblique (EO) muscles bilaterally during performing the traditional abdominal curl-up and the abdominal curl-up with CCF. Paired t-tests were used to compare the differences in the muscle activity of the bilateral SCM, RA, EO, and IO muscles between the traditional abdominal curl-up and the abdominal curl-up with CCF (p<.05). There was significantly lower electromyogram (EMG) activity of the both SCMs during the abdominal curl-up with CCF (Right SCM, $39.50{\pm}15.29%MVIC$; Left SCM, $38.24{\pm}17.31%MVIC$) than with the traditional abdominal curl-up (Right SCM, $54.85{\pm}20.05%MVIC$; Left SCM, $53.18{\pm}26.72%MVIC$) (p<.05). The activity of abdominal muscles were not significantly different between the traditional abdominal curl-up and the abdominal curl-up with CCF. The abdominal curl-up with CCF requires significantly less muscle activity of SCM. Consequently, the abdominal curl-up with CCF is recommended to prevent excessive activation of superficial cervical flexors during abdominal curl-up exercise.



Supported by : Hoseo University


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