Investigation into intra-abdominal pressure and neuromuscular activation to increase force production in traditional martial arts practitioners

Masters Thesis


Walters, Sherrilyn. 2020. Investigation into intra-abdominal pressure and neuromuscular activation to increase force production in traditional martial arts practitioners. Masters Thesis Master of Science (Research). University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/674d-x378
Title

Investigation into intra-abdominal pressure and neuromuscular activation to increase force production in traditional martial arts practitioners

TypeMasters Thesis
Authors
AuthorWalters, Sherrilyn
SupervisorMills, Dean
Hoffman, Ben
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameMaster of Science (Research)
Number of Pages92
Year2020
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/674d-x378
Abstract

Introduction: The extent to which martial arts practitioners utilise respiratory pressures and neuromuscular activation during force production is not well known. This study investigated whether Chinese wushu (kung fu) practitioners utilise a greater proportion of intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) and neuromuscular activation of the respiratory and pelvic floor muscles to increase their force production compared to healthy control participants.

Methods: Nine trained wushu practitioners and nine healthy untrained control participants were instrumented with skin-surface electromyography (EMG) electrodes on the sternocleidomastoid (EMGscm), rectus abdominis (EMGra) and the group formed by the transverse abdominal and internal oblique muscles (EMGtra/io). A multipair oesophageal EMG electrode catheter measured EMG of the crural diaphragm (EMGdi) along with gastric (Pg: a surrogate measure of IAP), transdiaphragmatic (Pdi), and oesophageal (Pe) pressures. Participants performed two tasks to measure force production: Standing Isometric Push and Standing Isometric Resistance. Participants were familiarised with the tasks and performed a minimum of three efforts for each task. Within-day, between-trial reproducibility intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) for pressure, force and EMG were > 0.67 for trained and > 0.53 for control participants in the Standing Isometric Push task. ICC were also > 0.86 for trained and > 0.71 for control participants in the Standing Isometric Resistance task.

Results: Compared to the control group, the trained group produced higher levels of force, lower Pe, and higher Pdi in both tasks (P < 0.05). The trained group produced higher Pg and higher EMGtra/io in the Standing Isometric Push task, and higher EMGdi in the Standing Isometric Resistance task (P < 0.05). The trained group had an earlier onset of Pg with respect to the onset of force production than the control group (P < 0.05). The relative contribution of Pg/Pe and Pdi/Pe were higher for the trained group (P < 0.05). Significant positive correlations were found between Pg and absolute force production in both groups (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Trained wushu practitioners appear to utilise IAP to a greater extent than untrained controls with similar physical activity levels to produce higher levels of force. These findings may have implications in a wide range of sports and activities, as these methods may be adapted and taught to individuals to improve performance, prevent injury or aid in rehabilitation.

Keywordsrespiratory pressures, respiratory muscles, martial artists, muscular force, intraabdominal pressure, wushu
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420702. Exercise physiology
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Health and Wellbeing
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https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q5y12/investigation-into-intra-abdominal-pressure-and-neuromuscular-activation-to-increase-force-production-in-traditional-martial-arts-practitioners

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The control of respiratory pressures and neuromuscular activation to increase force production in trained martial arts practitioners
Walters, Sherrilyn, Hoffman, Ben, MacAskill, William, Johnson, Michael A., Sharpe, Graham R. and Mills, Dean E.. 2021. "The control of respiratory pressures and neuromuscular activation to increase force production in trained martial arts practitioners." European Journal of Applied Physiology. 121 (12), pp. 3333-3347. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-021-04800-7