Trunk muscle activation during movement with a new exercise device for lumbo‐pelvic reconditioning

Tobias Weber, Dorothee Debuse, Sauro Salomoni, Edith Elgueta Cancino, Enrico De Martino, Nick Caplan, Volker Damann, J. Scott, Paul Hodges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Gravitational unloading leads to adaptations of the human body, including the spine and its adjacent structures, making it more vulnerable to injury and pain. The Functional Re‐adaptive Exercise Device (FRED) has been developed to activate the deep spinal muscles, lumbar multifidus (LM) and transversus abdominis (TrA), that provide inter‐segmental control and spinal protection. The FRED provides an unstable base of support and combines weight bearing in up‐right posture with side alternating, elliptical leg movements, without any resistance to movement. The present study investigated the activation of LM, TrA, obliquus externus (OE), obliquus internus (OI), abdominis, and erector spinae (ES) during FRED exercise using intramuscular fine‐wire and surface EMG. Nine healthy male volunteers (27 ± 5 years) have been recruited for the study. FRED exercise was compared with treadmill walking. It was confirmed that LM and TrA were continually active during FRED exercise. Compared with walking, FRED exercise resulted in similar mean activation of LM and TrA, less activation of OE, OI, ES, and greater variability of lumbo‐pelvic muscle activation patterns between individual FRED/gait cycles. These data suggest that FRED continuously engages LM and TrA, and therefore, has the potential as a stationary exercise device to train these muscles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e13188
JournalPhysiological Reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2017


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