Indexed on: 03 Aug '11Published on: 03 Aug '11Published in: Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
No studies have examined the effects of an unstable surface on push-up and push-up plus exercises in terms of the two parts of the serratus anterior muscle. We hypothesized that the lower part of the serratus anterior would have greater activity with an unstable surface, which requires stabilizing the scapular position. The present study was performed to investigate the intramuscular differences between parts of the serratus anterior muscle during push-up and push-up plus exercises. Twelve healthy subjects were included in the study. The upper and lower parts of the serratus anterior and upper and lower parts of the trapezius were investigated by surface EMG during four types of exercise. Repeated one-way ANOVA was used for statistical analyses. Maintaining the push-up plus phase caused significant increases in EMG activity of the upper serratus anterior compared with the push-up ascending phase on both of stable and unstable bases (P<0.05). The lower serratus anterior showed increased activation on an unstable surface, which required more joint stability than did the stable base. Upper trapezius/upper serratus anterior ratio was significantly lower in the PUP than in the PUA phase with both stable and unstable bases of support (P<0.05). Further studies are required to investigate the intramuscular variation in activation of the serratus anterior during exercises for rehabilitation.