Background: Inability to maintain proper alignment of the pelvis and femur due to gluteal muscle weakness has been associated with numerous lower extremity pathologies. Therefore, many lower extremity rehabilitation and injury prevention programs employ exercises that target gluteal muscle strength and activation. While information regarding muscle activation during exercises that are typically done in the beginning stages of rehabilitation is available, evidence regarding the gluteal muscle activity during more functional and advanced exercises used during later stages of rehabilitation is sparse. Purpose: To explore the recruitment of the gluteal muscles during jumping tasks in healthy participants to determine which jumping exercise best elicits gluteal muscle activation. Study Design: Prospective cohort design Methods: Eighteen healthy recreational athletes (23.5±3.8 years, 8M/10F, 67.56±3.2 inches, 66.73±9.5 kg) completed three trials of four jumping tasks: hurdle jump, split jump, V2 lateral jump, and cross-over jump in random order. Surface EMG electrodes were placed on each participant’s bilateral gluteus medius (GMed) and maximus (GMax) to measure muscle activity during the jumping tasks. Maximal voluntary isometric muscle contraction (MVIC) was established for each muscle group in order to express each jumping task as a percentage of MVIC and allow standardized comparison across participants. EMG data were analyzed for all jumps using a root-mean-square algorithm and smoothed with a 62.5 millisecond time reference. Rank ordering of muscle activation during jumping tasks was performed utilizing the peak percent MVIC recorded during each jumping task. Results: Three of the jumping tasks produced greater than 70% MVIC of the GMed muscle. In rank order from highest EMG value to lowest, these jumping tasks were: crossover jump (103% MVIC), hurdle jump (93.2% MVIC), and V2 lateral jump (84.7% MVIC). Two of the exercises recruited GMax with values greater than 70% MVIC. In rank order from highest EMG value to lowest, these jumping tasks were: hurdle jump (76.8% MVIC) and split jump (73.1% MVIC). Only the hurdle jump produced greater than 70% MVIC for both GMed and GMax muscles. Conclusions: The jumping task that resulted in greatest activation of the GMed was the crossover jump, while hurdle jump led to the greatest activation of the GMax. The high %MVIC for the GMed during the crossover jump may be attributed to lack of maximal effort or lack of motivation during performance of maximal contractions during the manual muscle testing. Alternatively, substantial co-contraction of core muscles during the crossover jumping task may have led to higher values. Level of Evidence: 2b Individual Cohort Study.
- gluteus maximus
- gluteus medius
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine