Muscle activity during unilateral versus bilateral battle rope exercises

Tidsskriftartikel - 2015


High training intensity is important for efficient strength gains. Although battle rope training is metabolically demanding, no studies have quantified intensity of muscle activity during this type of training. This study analyses muscle activity during unilateral alternating waves vs. bilateral waves of battle rope training. Twenty one volunteers participated in a repeated measures study on two different occasions. Surface electromyographic (EMG) signals were recorded from the anterior deltoid (AD), external oblique (OBLIQ), lumbar erector spinae (LUMB) and gluteus medius (GM) during bilateral waves and unilateral waves and were normalized to the maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC). Results showed that muscle activity ranged from 51%MVIC to 73%MVIC for AD, OBLIQ and LUMB, while GM muscle activity was only 14-18%MVIC. OBLIQ activation was significantly greater (20%MVIC; p=0.02) with the unilateral waves compared to the bilateral waves whereas LUMB signal was significantly higher (16%MVIC; p=0.001) with the bilateral waves compared to the unilateral waves. In conclusion, both wave movements can be used to provide moderate to high levels of muscle activity in the AD, OBLIQ and LUMB. Fitness practitioners aiming for higher OBLIQ activity should perform unilateral waves whereas the bilateral variation of the movement can be used for higher LUMB activity


Calatayud JMV, Martin F, Colado J, Benitez J, Jakobsen MD, Andersen LL. Muscle activity during unilateral versus bilateral battle rope exercises. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2015;29(10):2854-2859.
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000963

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