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Is the bean better? A comparison of abdominal and cervical muscle activity using surface EMG


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Bird, ML, Dornauf, S, Cornock, A and Visentin, DC 2009 , 'Is the bean better? A comparison of abdominal and cervical muscle activity using surface EMG', paper presented at the 6th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists, November 26th & 27th, Melbourne, Australia.

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PURPOSE: To compare superficial abdominal and cervical muscle activity while performing a traditional crunch with the same activity performed on a commercial device, The BeanTM. Manufacturers purport that a crunch performed on The BeanTM should produce 55-72% more activity in upper and lower rectus muscles and oblique muscles.
METHOD: Thirty Four participants (males 21, females 13) performed 10 repetitions on both apparatus, in a randomly allocated order. Surface electromyography (EMG) measured the muscular activity of the upper and lower sections of the rectus abdominis (RA), the external oblique (EO) and the sternocleidomastoid (S). A repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine any significant difference in peak and half peak width for all the above muscles.
RESULTS: The BeanTM did not produce significantly higher results in any of the measurements. There was significantly higher peak activity in the upper rectus performing a traditional crunch compared to a crunch performed using The BeanTM (p = 0.005), with no significant difference in the cervical EMG recordings for either peak height (mV) or half peak width (s).
CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that this apparatus does not produce a significant increase in activity in any of the abdominal muscles, and significantly less in the upper rectus muscle group compared to a traditional abdominal crunch. The amount of work required by the long cervical flexor musculature is not significantly different between the two performances.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Authors/Creators:Bird, ML and Dornauf, S and Cornock, A and Visentin, DC
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