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Comparison of the Electromyographic Activity in the Lower Trapezius Muscle According to Four Different Types of Exercises in Healthy Adults
J Kor Phys Ther 2019;31(2):134-139
Published online April 30, 2019;
© 2019 The Korea Society of Physical Therapy.

Gyeong Ju Seo1, Ji Won Park2, Yonghyun Kwon3

1Rehabilitation Center, Daegu Hospital of Korea Workers’ Compensation & Welfare Service, Daegu; 2Department of Physical Therapy, College of Bio and Medical Science, Daegu Catholic University, Gyeongsan; 3Department of Physical Therapy, Yeungnam University College, Daegu, Korea
Yonghyun Kwon, E-mail
Received April 2, 2019; Revised April 17, 2019; Accepted April 25, 2019.
This is an Open Access article distribute under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License (Http:// which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution,and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Purpose: This study examined the most effective exercise while performing shoulder abduction below ninety degrees.
Methods: Thirty two healthy individuals (17 males, 15 females) participated and performed four exercises, 1) Posterior fly, 2) Prone row, 3) Modified prone cobra, and 4) External rotation in the prone position. Surface electromyography (sEMG) was used to measure the electrical activities for the lower, middle and upper fiber of trapezius and serratus anterior.
Results: A significant difference in the muscle activities of the upper/middle/lower trapezius and serratus anterior was observed among the three different positions in terms of the PF (posterior fly), PR (prone row), and MPC (modified prone cobra) (p<0.05). In post-hoc analysis, the activities of the lower and upper trapezius were significantly higher than those of the upper trapezius and serratus anterior (p<0.05). In addition, in ERP (external rotation in prone), there was a significant difference in each activity of the muscles. Post-hoc results indicated that the upper trapezius showed greater EMG activity than the other three muscles.
Conclusion: External rotation in the prone position revealed the highest activation of the lower trapezius compared to upper trapezius muscle activity. This may be particularly useful in isolating the lower trapezius in cases where excessive scapular elevation is noted. Therefore, the most effective lower trapezius exercise should be performed below ninety degrees of shoulder abduction.
Keywords : Lower trapezius, Exercise position, Electromyography.

April 2019, 31 (2)
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