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
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2020) 19, 102 - 111

Research article
The Effect of Additional External Resistance on Inter-Set Changes in Abdominal Muscle Thickness during Bridging Exercise
Kostantinos Dafkou , Eleftherios Kellis, Athanasios Ellinoudis, Chrysostomos Sahinis
Author Information
Laboratory of Neuromechanics, Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at Serres, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Kostantinos Dafkou
✉ Laboratory of Neuromechanics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, TEFAA Serres, Serres, 62100 Greece
Publish Date
Received: 04-10-2019
Accepted: 16-12-2019
Published (online): 24-02-2020
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Bridging exercises with abdominal hollowing are often used as a regimen for improving spinal stability. Lately, this type of training has become very popular among elite athletes, creating a need for more demanding exercises. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the use of additional external resistance is beneficial for abdominal muscle recruitment during bridge exercise. Tissue movement of the transversus abdominis (TrA) and the rectus abdominis (RA) was recorded with the use of two synchronized ultrasonic devices, in 20 healthy college students. From the hook-lying position participants were examined in eight different exercise conditions: a) rest, b) abdominal drawing-in maneuver (ADIM), c) bridge, d) bridge- ADIM, e) bridge with 10KG, f) bridge- ADIM with 10KG, g) bridge with 20KG and h) bridge-ADIM with 20KG. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a statistically significant increase in TrA thickness when performing the bridge exercise combined with ADIM compared to rest mode (p < .05). RA thickness decreased when the ADIM was performed, compared to rest (p < 0.05). No significant difference in TrA and RA thickness when exercising with and without external resistance was observed (p > 0.05). The main outcome of this study was that external loading provided some extra level of difficulty, yet it was not beneficial for abdominal muscle recruitment, when performing a supine bridge exercise.

Key words: Transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, pelvic lift, weight training, ultrasound imaging

           Key Points
  • Bridge exercises with ADIM increase TrA muscle’s thickness.
  • External resistance during back bridge exercise do not affect abdominal muscles.
  • Abdominal hollowing reduces RA muscle’s thickness.
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