Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine ( 2005 ) 04 , 66 - 75

Research article
The Effects of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Training on Abdominal Strength, Endurance, and Selected Anthropometric Measures
John P. Porcari1, , Jennifer Miller1, Kelly Cornwell1, Carl Foster1, Mark Gibson1, Karen McLean2, Tom Kernozek2
Author Information
1 Department of Exercise and Sports Science, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, USA
2 Department of Physical Therapy, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, USA

John P. Porcari
✉ Department of Exercise and Sports Science, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse , USA
Email: porcari.john@uwlax.edu
Publish Date
Received: 24-12-2004
Accepted: 11-02-2005
Published (online): 01-03-2005
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ABSTRACT

We studied the effects of self-administered neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on changes in strength, endurance, selected anthropometric measures, and subject’s perceived shape and satisfaction of the abdominal wall. Twenty-four adults (experimental group) stimulated their abdominals 5 days per week (20-40 minutes per session) for 8 weeks and refrained from engaging in any additional exercise during the study. A control group (N=16) refrained from exercising the abdominals or engaging in any other exercise training during the study. Subjects were tested at the beginning, mid-point, and end of the study. Isometric strength of the abdominal muscles was tested using a isokinetic dynamometer, endurance was measured using the ACSM curl-up test, abdominal circumference was measured using a steel tape measure, and body shape and satisfaction were assessed via questionnaire. The stimulation group had a 58% increase in abdominal strength, whereas the control group did not change. The stimulation group also had a 100% increase in abdominal endurance versus a 28% increase in the control group. Waist circumference decreased by of 3.5 cm in the stimulation group compared to no significant change in the control group. All 24 subjects in the stimulation group felt that their midsections were more “toned” and “firmed” and 13/24 (54%) felt that their posture had improved as a result of the stimulation. None of the control group subjects reported changes in these parameters. There were no significant differences in body weight, BMI, or skinfold thickness over the course of the study in either group. NMES, as used in the current study, resulted in significant improvements in the muscular strength and endurance of the abdominal region, as well as subject’s perceived shape and satisfaction of the mid-section.

Key words: Fitness, training, isometric


           Key Points
  • Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) was effective in increasing muscle strength and endurance
  • All subjects perceived their abdominal muscles to be firmer and more toned as a result of EMS
  • Abdominal and waist girth was also significantly reduced, despite no changes in body weight or subcutaneous fat
 
 
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