The lumbar stabilizing muscles are divided into local and global muscles, based on their role in stabilizing the trunk. The multifidus and tranversus abdominis constitute the local stabilizing system. While the longissimus thoracis, rectus abdominis, and external oblique abdominis, constitute the global stabilizing muscles. The stability is managed primarily by the LOCAL muscles, while the global muscles are generally multi-segmental and are primary producers of movement. Global muscles can contribute compressive forces to contribute to stability; however, they are limited in their ability to control segmental shear forces. When the global muscles are used as the primary spinal stabilizers, the excessive shear force may result in low back pain.
Various lumbar stabilization exercises have been shown to (P)Rehab lower back pain. Here are 4 commonly used stabilization exercises. A recent study looked at 5 different progressions of the Curl Up, Dead Bug, Superman, and Bird Dog. Obviously as the level of the intensity increased, the activity of the related lumbar stabilizing muscles also increased significantly.
However, my questions to you are:
1. Which exercise showed the high EMG activity of the Multifidus?
2. Which exercise showed the highest EMG activity of the Rectus Abdominis?
3. Which exercise was the only one in which Multifidus activity was larger than that of the Erector Spinae’s (Illiocostalis/Longissimus/Semispinalis)?