pISSN 2288-6982
eISSN 2288-7105




Phys. Ther. Korea 2017; 24(1): 71-78

Published online February 28, 2017

© Korean Research Society of Physical Therapy

1Dept. of Physical Therapy, The Graduate School, Yonsei University,
2Dept. of Physical Therapy, Kyunghee University Medical Center,
3Dept. of Occupational Therapy, Kyungbok University,
4Dept. of Physical Therapy, The Graduate School of Physical Therapy, Sahmyook University,
5Dept. of Rehabilitation Medicine, Kyunghee University Medical Center,
6Dept. of Ergonomic Therapy, The Graduate School of Health and Environment, Yonsei University

The Effects of a Bridging Exercise With Hip Adductor Contraction on the EMG Activities of Abdominal Muscles in Patients With Sub-Acute Stroke

Chan-bum Park1,2, Jin-young Ahn3, Ho-young Kim4, Jong-ha Lee5, Hye-seon Jeon6

Correspondence to: Corresponding author: Hye-seon Jeon

Received: December 29, 2016; Revised: December 29, 2016; Accepted: January 31, 2017



Muscle weakness and impaired trunk muscle control are common in stroke patients. The bridging exercise (BE) is generally used for trunk stabilization and improving the overall function of stroke patients. The effectiveness of the BE with hip adductor contraction (BEHA) in facilitating trunk muscle activation has been well studied in healthy adults. However, the impact of BEHA in sub-acute stroke patients has not yet been investigated.


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of BEHA on the electromyography (EMG) activities and the asymmetry of the rectus abdominis (RA), external oblique (EO) and internal oblique (IO) abdominal muscles.


Twenty participants with sub-acute stroke (11 males and 9 females) were recruited. Each participant was asked to perform bridging exercises for five seconds under three different conditions: BE in a neutral position (BEN), BEHA with a large ball (BEHAL) and BEHA with a small ball (BEHAS). The EMG amplitudes of the bilateral RA, EO and IO and the asymmetry of the EMG activity between the sound and affected sides were compared among the conditions. The significance level was set at α=.05.


The EMG activities of RA, EO and IO were significantly greater during BEHAL and BEHAS than during BEN (p<.05); the asymmetry of the RA, EO and IO decreased significantly during BEHAL and BEHAS compared to BEN (p<.05). However, no measured variables showed any significant differences between BEHAL and BEHAS (p>.05).


This study compared the EMG activities of the RA, EO and IO on both sides and the asymmetry of the RA, EO and IO during BEN, BEHAL and BEHAS. Our findings suggest that BEHA was more effective for individuals with hemiplegic stroke at facilitating and normalizing abdominal muscle control than BEN.

Keywords: Asymmetry, Bridging exercise, Hip adduction, Stroke, Trunk