Training Status and Gender Effects on Sternocleidomastoid and Abdominal Muscles Activity During Curl-Up Exercise with Different Respiratory Cycle

Hasan Sözen
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Objective: This study aims to investigate sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) during curl-up exercise with different inspiration and expiration cycle among subject with different training status and gender, and the abdominal muscles in the targeted area.

Methods: 24 healthy subjects volunteered to participate in the study. The data were gathered from bilateral SCM, rectus abdominis (RA), external oblique (EO) and transversus abdominis/internal oblique (TrA/IO) muscles via surface electromyography (EMG).

Results: The analysis of all the data gathered from the participants shows that the muscle activation in EO right, TrA/IO right, TrA/IO left and RA right during curl-up exercise with expiration is higher than activation during curl-up exercise with inspiration. A comparison of sedentary and mean scores of participants during curl-up exercise with expiration did not reveal any significant difference. A comparison of mean scores of men and women during curl-up exercise with expiration showed that the scores derived from females’ EO left and RA right muscles is higher than the scores derived from the same muscles group of males. However, when the average scores of male and female participants in the curl-up movement with inspiration were compared, the scores derived from the same muscle group of females is higher than that of males’.

Conclusion: As there is no difference between genders and the contraction rates of SCM muscle, no gender-specific suggestions can be made about respiration during curl-up for the health of neck and cervical zone


Curl-up exercise; abdominal muscles; sternocleidomastoid; electromyography

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