William Miller1, Jason Wagganer2, Jeremy Barnes2 & Seidu Sofo2. 1University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri; 2Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau, Missouri; e-mail: wmiller@ucmo.edu

To date, traditional resistance training (TRT) programs incorporate a minute amount of instability training (IT). Over several decades TRT has transformed and taken on new and unusual concepts, such as TRX (total body resistance exercise). However, very little research has been completed investigating the effects of the TRX. PURPOSE: Therefore, the purpose of the study was to determine if muscle electrical activity (EMG) will differ while performing a bodyweight split-squat while using an instability device, the TRX, as compared to performing a bodyweight split-squat in a stable environment, without an external load present. METHODS: Twenty non-athlete (10 male; 10 female) experienced resistance and/or aerobically trained individuals participated in the investigation. The study consisted of three sessions including two variations of bodyweight split-squats and a training session to acclimatize the participants. The TRX split-squat was performed by placing the rear foot within the foot cradle of the TRX strap, while the traditional split-squat required the participant to place their rear foot on a stable bench, both 16 inches in height. Each session was separated by one minute of rest and each split-squat required the participant to perform three correct repetitions. EMG analysis was performed to assess the muscle activity of the gluteus maximus (GMa) and rectus femoris (RF). Paired samples t-tests using IBM SPSS version 23 were performed to compare the EMG data of the GMa and RF of males and females for both the TRX and traditional split-squat. RESULTS: Paired samples t-tests revealed significantly higher EMG activity occurred in the GMa during the TRX split-squat compared to the traditional split-squat. No other significant differences in the muscle activity of the GMa or RF occurred. CONCLUSIONS: The study purpose was to determine if a TRX split-squat would increase muscle activity in the GMa or RF compared to the traditional split-squat because of the higher degree of instability involved. Significant results were found for the EMG of the GMa during the TRX® split-squat. The TRX® trainer has not been incorporated in many studies, thus should be an increased focus in the future.

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