Electromyographic evaluation of high-intensity elastic resistance exercises for lower extremity muscles during bed rest
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Prolonged hospital bed rest after severe injury or disease leads to rapid muscle atrophy and strength loss. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of lower extremity strengthening exercises using elastic resistance that can be performed while lying in a hospital bed.
Using a cross-sectional design, 22 healthy individuals performed three consecutive repetitions of 14 different lower extremity exercises using elastic resistance, with a perceived intensity corresponding to 8 on the Borg CR-10 scale. Surface electromyography was measured on 13 lower extremity muscles and normalized to the maximal EMG (nEMG). Likewise, exercise satisfaction was evaluated by a questionnaire.
All participants were able to perform all exercises without discomfort and generally rated them satisfactory. High levels of muscle activity were observed for all prime movers. For example, the “femoris muscle setting” exercise showed high levels of muscle activity for rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, and vastus medialis (79, 75, and 79% nEMG, respectively), while biceps femoris and semitendinosus were highly active during the prone knee flexion exercise with (72 and 71% nEMG, respectively) and without Kinesiology Tape (73 and 77% nEMG, respectively).
High levels of muscle activity in the lower extremities can be achieved using elastic resistance exercises performed when lying in a hospital bed. Even though performed on healthy individuals, the present study has the potential to provide a reference table of exercises to select from when individualizing and progressing strengthening exercises during the early rehabilitation of bedridden individuals.
KeywordsRehabilitation Bedridden Strength training Elastic tubing Physical therapy
Maximal voluntary isometric contraction
Root mean square
Range of motion
The authors thank the students from the Metropolitan University College of Copenhagen for their invaluable practical work. Thanks to Performance Health for providing elastic bands and Kinesiology Tape.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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