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  • Author: Samantha N. Boudreau x
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Samantha N. Boudreau, Maureen K. Dwyer, Carl G. Mattacola, Christian Lattermann, Tim L. Uhl and Jennifer Medina McKeon

Context:

Functional exercises are often used in strengthening programs after lower extremity injury. Activation levels of the stabilizing hip muscles have not been documented.

Objective:

To document the progression of hip-muscle activation levels during 3 lower extremity functional exercises.

Design:

Cross-sectional.

Setting:

Laboratory.

Participants:

44 healthy individuals, 22 women and 22 men.

Intervention:

Subjects, in 1 testing session, completed 3 trials each of the lunge (LUN), single-leg squat (SLSQ), and step-up-and-over (SUO) exercise.

Main Outcome Measures:

Root-mean-square muscle amplitude (% reference voluntary muscle contraction) was measured for 5 muscles during the 3 exercises: rectus femoris (RF), dominant and nondominant gluteus medius (GMed_D and GMed_ND), adductor longus (ADD), and gluteus maximus (GMX).

Results:

The RF, GMAX, and GMed_D were activated in a progression from least to greatest during the SUO, LUN, and SLSQ. The progression for the GMed_ND activation was from least to greatest during the SLSQ, SUO, and then LUN. Activation levels of the ADD showed no progression.

Conclusion:

Progressive activation levels were documented for muscles acting on the hip joint during 3 functional lower extremity exercises. The authors recommend using this exercise progression when targeting the hip muscles during lower extremity strengthening.