Electromyographic Analysis of Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Hamstring and Erector Spinae Muscles Activity During the Bridge Exercise With Hip External Rotation in Different Knee Flexion Angles in Healthy Subjects

  • Lee, Kyung-eun (Dept. of Physical Therapy, The Graduate School, Yonsei University) ;
  • Baik, Seung-min (Dept. of Physical Therapy, The Graduate School, Yonsei University) ;
  • Yi, Chung-hwi (Dept. of Physical Therapy, College of Health Science, Yonsei University) ;
  • Kim, Seo-hyun (Dept. of Physical Therapy, The Graduate School, Yonsei University)
  • Received : 2019.08.01
  • Accepted : 2019.09.05
  • Published : 2019.09.17


Background: The bridge exercise targets the gluteus maximus (Gmax) and gluteus medius (Gmed). However, there is also a risk of dominant hamstring (HAM) and erector spinae (ES) muscles. Objects: To analyze the muscle activity the of Gmax, Gmed, HAM and ES during the bridge exercise with and without hip external rotation in different degrees of knee flexion. Methods: Twenty-three subjects were participated. The electormyography (EMG) activity of the Gmax, Gmed, HAM and ES muscles was recorded during the exercise. The subjects performed the bridge exercise under four different conditions: (a) with $90^{\circ}$ knee flexion, without hip external rotation (b) with $90^{\circ}$ knee flexion, with hip external rotation (c) with $135^{\circ}$ knee flexion, without hip external rotation (d) with $135^{\circ}$ knee flexion, with hip external rotation. Results: There was no significant interaction effect between the degree of knee flexion and hip external rotation. There was a significant main effect for degree of knee flexion in Gmax, HAM muscles activity. Gmax muscle activity was significantly greater in the $135^{\circ}$ knee flexion position than in the $90^{\circ}$ knee flexion position (p<.001). While HAM muscle activity was significantly less in $135^{\circ}$ knee flexion position than in the $90^{\circ}$ knee flexion position (p<.001). ES muscle activity was significantly less in the $135^{\circ}$ knee flexion position than in the $90^{\circ}$ knee flexion position (p=.002). The activity of both the Gmax and Gmed muscles was significantly greater with hip external rotation (p<.001 and p=.005, respectively). Conclusion: For patients performing the bridge exercise, positioning the knee in $135^{\circ}$ of flexion with hip external rotation is effective for improving Gmax and Gmed muscle activity while decreasing HAM, and ES muscle activity.


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