Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Physical Therapy (M.S.)

Degree Program

Physical Therapy


The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a significant difference in the EMG activity of the paraspinal musculature, based on the width of hand placement used in the McKenzie prone press-up position.

EMG recordings were taken using surface electrodes placed on the lumbar paraspinal musculature of thirty normal, volunteer subjects. These recordings were taken while the subject was in the prone press-up position. This was repeated three times with different widths of lateral hand placement. The resultant EMG recordings were normalized using a recording from a maximal effort of an isometric contraction. The mean EMG recording was calculated for each of the three positions tested, and an analysis of variance was used to determine if there was a significant difference in these means. No significant difference was found between the mean EMG recordings of the three positions tested at a 95% confidence level. The authors concluded that the width of hand placement used during the prone press-up exercise does not have a significant effect on the level of EMG activity in the lumbar paraspinal muscles. The results have clinical significance for the treatment of low back pain using the prone press-up.


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