Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology

First Advisor

Disa Hatfield

Abstract

PURPOSE: Muscle imbalance assessment and treatment practices are becoming more commonplace in the field of strength and conditioning. For instance, exercises such as monster walks are being prescribed as a warm-up exercise with the specific aim of activating and/or strengthening the gluteus medius (GM) muscle. There is evidence to suggest that an individual with either a weak GM or one that is delayed in its onset has an increased risk of injury. However, this relationship has not been established in a resistance trained athletic population. Further, there is no evidence that commonly used glute activation (GA) exercises will acutely increase recruitment capabilities of the GM. Therefore, the primary purpose of this research is to examine the effects of different warm-up modalities on GA. METHODS: Nine men (age: 20.7 ±2.1 yrs; body mass: 86.0±12.97 kg; height: 177.5±13.1cm; body fat percent: 12.66 ± 4.0) and thirteen women (age: 20.2 ±1.4 yrs; body mass: 73.73±12 15.6 kg; height: 165.1±12.8cm; body fat percent: 22 ± 4.2) volunteered to participate in this randomized, cross-over study. Each participant was tested for GA using EMG while performing manual field tests (Cook Hip Lift and a Side-lying Abduction Test) prior to and after performing one of two warm-up exercise conditions; a standard dynamic warm-up (DW) or common GA exercises. Statistical significance was set at p≤0.05 RESULTS: There were no significant differences in EMG activity between the GA exercise and the DW condition as measured by area under the curve. There were also no main effects of the pre and post conditions. CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that a non-injured, athletic population is able to properly activate the GM without any additional stimulation. The resistance training experience of the participants varied greatly but all had at least 6 months prior training experience. Future studies should examine if there is a relationship between resistance training and GA, however it is possible that resistance trained athletes can adequately strengthen the GM through the course of normal training and subsequently would have no problems recruiting the GM. PRACTICALAPPLICATIONS: Strength & conditioning professionals have limited time with athletes. When coaching a resistance trained athletic population, the results of this study suggest strength & conditioning professionals should reallocate time spent on GA assessment and treatment to protocols that will enhance

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