Many types of rehabilitation exercises are used to reestablish lower extremity neuromuscular function and strength following ankle injuries. It has not been established which exercise induces the greatest leg muscle activity, which might allow patients to recover more quickly from their injuries. The purpose of this investigation was to establish which exercises induce the most muscle activity in the medial gastrocnemius (MG), peroneus longus (PL), and tibialis anterior (TA), as measured by integrated electromyography (I-EMG). Participants (N = 24, age = 22 ± .59, mass = 63.5 ± 2.1 kg, ht = 165.7 ± 1.2 cm) conducted five repetitions of each of four exercise conditions for 30 s: one-legged stance (OLS), OLS on trampoline (OLST), T-Band kicks (TBK), and OLS perturbations (OLSP). It was found that the TBK exercise induces greater I-EMG in all three muscles, the OLST exercise stimulates more I-EMG activity in the MG and TA, and the OLSP exercise induces greater I-EMG activity in the TA.
The authors are with the Sports Injury Research Laboratory, Athletic Training Department, at Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN 47809.