Motor games An alternative to strengthen the abdominal muscles

Francisco J. Vera-García

José Ignacio Alonso

Belén Flores-Parodi

Nadia Arroyo Fenoll

Mª Ángeles Sarti Martínez

Original Language

Cite this article

Vera-García, F. J., López Elvira, J. L., Alonso Roque, J. I., Flores-Parodi, B., Arroyo Fenoll, N., & Sarti Martínez, M. A. (2005). Motor games An alternative to strengthen the abdominal muscles. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 79, 80-85.



The purpose of this study was to compare the amplitude of the electromyography (EMG) and the way that the abdominal muscles were co‑activated during the curl up and two traditional motor games: the wheelbarrow race and the hula-hoop. The EMG from the rectus abdominis, external oblique and internal oblique of nine healthy volunteers was recorded during the three tasks. People with histories of abdominal surgery, episodes of back pain or low back disorders were excluded. EMG amplitude was averaged and normalized to the maximum voluntary contraction. The two-way ANOVA (muscle/task) and the post hoc Tukey showed the differences in electrical activity for each muscle during the tasks and between muscles during each task. In the present study, the electrical activity during the motor games was greater than during the curl up exercise. Therefore, the motor games can be taken into consideration as an alternative to condition the abdominal muscles. Although the wheelbarrow race produced a high level of abdominal coactivation, it principally activated the external oblique. No significant differences were found during the hula-hoop.

Keywords: Abdominal Muscles, Electromyography, Games, Training, Trunk Stability.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Published: January 01, 2005