Original Research

Gluteal muscle activation during rehabilitation exercises in female field hockey players

Daretha Coetzee, Frederik F. Coetzee, Robert Schall, Colleen Sinclair
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 77, No 1 | a1578 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v77i1.1578 | © 2021 Daretha Coetzee, Frederik F. Coetzee, Robert Schall, Colleen Sinclair | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 March 2021 | Published: 01 October 2021

About the author(s)

Daretha Coetzee, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Frederik F. Coetzee, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Robert Schall, Department of Mathematical Statistics and Actuarial Science, Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
Colleen Sinclair, Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Field hockey, a team sport played by both men and women at both recreational and professional levels, requires maintaining a forward flexed posture putting stress on the lumbar spine. Hence, it is necessary to assess the muscles supporting the lumbar spine, especially those surrounding the hip, to inform strengthening exercises for this population.

Objectives: To establish the best body weight rehabilitation exercises shown to produce high muscle activation (≥ 61%MVIC – maximal voluntary isometric contraction) for both the gluteus maximus (Gmax) and medius (Gmed) muscles. Four exercises fell into this category.

Method: Surface electromyography (sEMG) was used to record the muscle activation of Gmax and Gmed of four body weight rehabilitation exercises in 26 high-performance female field hockey players. The %MVIC activation data of both Gmax and Gmed were analysed using a three-way ANOVA.

Results: The single-leg squat generated the highest %MVIC activation of both Gmax (125.65%MVIC) and Gmed (126.30%MVIC). The only statistically significant difference for Gmax was between the single-leg squat and plank with hip extension (p = 0.0487). No statistically significant difference was observed for Gmed between the four body weight rehabilitation exercises (p = 0.6285).

Conclusion: The four exercises generated similar %MVIC activation levels. The single-leg squat produced the highest observed %MVIC of Gmax and Gmed in high-performance female field hockey players and is, therefore, recommended.

Clinical implications: Implementation of the findings could result in benefits during prehabilitation, injury prevention programmes and the later stages of rehabilitation for high-performance female field hockey players.


Keywords

field hockey; high-performance; female; body weight rehabilitation exercises; maximal voluntary isometric contraction; MVIC; gluteus maximus; gluteus medius; surface electromyography

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