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Comparison of Abdominal Muscle Thickness Using Ultrasound Imaging During Bridging Exercises With a Sling and Ball in Healthy Young Adults  

Moon, Young (Department of Movement Development, The ERUM Child Development Center)
Choi, Jong-duk (Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health and Medical Science, Daejeon University)
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Physical Therapy Korea / v.27, no.1, 2020 , pp. 87-92 More about this Journal
Background: Bridging exercises are used to enhance the functional stability of the lumbopelvic region in clinical settings. Although most of the studies on bridging exercises have compared the complete activation of the trunk muscles, some recent studies have examined the functional stability of the trunk and the lumbopelvic region and assessed the appropriate recruitment of the local and global muscles during different task levels. Objects: The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in muscle thickness in the transverse abdominis (TrA), internal oblique (IO), and external oblique (EO) muscles during a common bridging exercise on an unstable surface and to determine whether these changes differ based on the surface used. Methods: Twenty-five healthy young adults (8 males, 17 females) were recruited. The subjects were randomly assigned to either the exercise progression with a sling bridge group or the ball bridging exercise progression group, each with three stages of increasing difficulty. Each position was measured three times with an ultrasonic diagnostic imaging system, and the mean values were recorded for analysis. Results: No significant differences were observed between the TrA, IO, or EO muscle thickness ratios between the sling and ball exercise groups (p > 0.05). There were also no significant differences in the EO muscle thickness ratios between the tasks irrespective of whether the sling or ball was used. However, the TrA and IO thickness ratios in both groups were significantly greater during stages 2 and 3 compared to stage 1. Conclusion: The results suggest that the use of slings and balls during bridging exercises is effective in activating the deep abdominal muscles.
Exercise therapy; Stability; Sling; Ultrasonography;
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