Gluteal muscle activation during common yoga poses

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Hoover, Josh
Thomas, Jacob
Mettling, Austin
May, Adam
Stoffregen, Sydney
Hafenstine, Rex W.
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INTRODUCTION: Approximately 55% of physical therapists report using alternative strength training, including yoga, for major muscle groups. Although clinicians and athletes often use yoga as a form of strength training, little is known about the activation of specific muscle groups during yoga poses including the gluteus maximus and medius. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to measure electromyographic (EMG) activation of gluteal muscles during five common yoga poses to determine which is best for gluteal strengthening. METHODS: Thirty-one healthy males and females aged 18-35 years were tested in five randomized yoga poses. Electromyography (EMG) electrodes were placed on subjects' right gluteus maximus and gluteus medius. Subjects performed the poses on both sides following a maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) for each muscle tested. All yoga pose EMG data were normalized to the corresponding muscle MVIC data. RESULTS: Highest gluteus maximus activation occurred during Half Moon Pose on the lifted/back leg (63.31% MVIC), followed by the stance/front leg during Half Moon Pose (61.66%), then the lifted/back leg during Warrior Three Pose (46.06%). Highest gluteus medius activation occurred during Half Moon Pose on the lifted/back leg (41.85%), followed by the lifted/back leg during the Warrior Three Pose (41.58%). A significant difference was found in %MVIC of gluteus medius activity between male and female subjects (p = 0.026), and between experienced and inexperienced subjects (p = 0.050), indicating higher activation among males and inexperienced subjects, respectively. CONLCUSION: Half Moon Pose and Warrior Three Pose elicited the greatest activation for both the gluteus maximus and medius. Higher gluteus medius activation was seen in males and inexperienced subjects.

Presented to the 15th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State University, April 26, 2019.
Research completed in the Physical Therapy Department, Wichita State University; Biomedical Engineering Department, Wichita State University
Hoover, Josh, Thomas, Jacob, Mettling, Austin, May, Adam, Stoffregen, Sydney, Hafenstine, Rex. 2019. Gluteal muscle activation during common yoga poses -- In Proceedings: 15th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University
Wichita State University
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