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Comparison of the effects of different core exercise on muscle activity and thickness in healthy young adults
Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Science 2018;7:72-7
Published online June 30, 2018
© 2018 Korean Academy of Physical Therapy Rehabilitation Science.

Mingyun Koa, Changho Songb

aDepartment of Physical Therapy, Chunnam Techno University, Gokseong, Republic of Korea, bDepartment of Physical Therapy, College of Health Science and Social Welfare, Sahmyook University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Correspondence to: Changho Song, Department of Physical Therapy, College of Health Science and Social Welfare, Sahmyook University, 815 Hwarang-ro, Nowon-gu, Seoul 01795, Republic of Korea, Tel: 82-2-3399-1631 Fax: 82-2-3399-1639 E-mail:
Received April 20, 2018; Revised May 24, 2018; Accepted May 24, 2018.
cc This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Objective: This study aimed to compare the effects of core exercise methods on muscle activation and muscle thickness in healthy young adults and to propose effective core exercise methods.
Design: Three-group pretest-posttest design.
Methods: A total of 30 healthy young adults (14 males, 16 females) voluntarily participated in the study. Subjects were randomized to the prone plank exercise (n=10), reverse plank exercise (n=10), or bridge exercise (n=10) groups. Muscle activity and thickness of the rectus abdominis (RA), multifidus (MF), external oblique (EO), and internal oblique (IO) muscles were measured using surface electromyography and ultrasound. Subjects from each group participated in the exercises five times a week, with five 20-second sets during week 1. The set time was increased by 10 seconds per week.
Results: Muscle activity and thickness in the prone plank, reverse plank, and bridge exercise group were statistically significant different for RA, MF, EO, and IO changes over time, and interaction between time and groups were also significantly different (p<0.05). We analyzed statistically significant differences between groups using a one-way analysis of variance for each period. A significant difference was observed after 4 weeks of exercise (p<0.05).
Conclusions: The results suggest that the prone plank exercise is a beneficial method for enhancing muscle activation and thickness of the RA, EO, and IO compared to the reverse plank and bridge exercises. On the other hand, the reverse plank and bridge exercises are effective methods for enhancing the MF compared to the prone plank exercise.
Keywords : Abdominal oblique muscles, Electromyography, Exercise, Paraspinal muscles, Rectus abdominis


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