BACKGROUND: The sport of women’s lacrosse has four positions: attack, midfield, defense, and goalkeeper. Each position has different objectives whether it is to score points by placing the ball in the opposing team’s net, to enter both offensive and defensive zones and assist in transitioning the ball between zones, to clear the ball back their team’s offensive zone, to prevent the ball from entering the net by blocking shots. The difference in positional objectives may cause differences in rotational power since attackers and midfielders shoot more often than defenders and goalies. The purpose of this research is to examine differences in muscle activation about the external oblique during shooting in attackers, midfielders, defenders, and goalies. METHODS: Nine (n = 4 attack, 1 midfield, 3 defense, 1 goalie) injury-free NCAA Division II women’s lacrosse players (mean ± SD: age, 21.62 ± 1.64 years; height, 168.97 ± 9.53 cm; weight, 68.03 ± 9.95 kg) participated in this study. After granting consent and completing health history forms, an electromyography sensor was applied on the non-dominant side external oblique and manual muscle testing performed to establish baseline maximum voluntary isometric contraction data to which all other external oblique EMG data was normalized. Participants then completed a three-minute wallball warm-up and three warm up shots for acclimation to the stick. Participants then completed five game-speed overhand shots with the dominant hand. To account for the Hawthorne effect, external oblique muscle activity from trials two through four were averaged and used for analysis with JASP 0.10.2. RESULTS: A Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed no significant difference in contralateral external oblique activation during a dominant side overhead lacrosse shot among positions, χ2(3, N = 9) = 2.31, p = 0.510. CONCLUSION: While no significant difference was observed among this population, the observed difference in marginal means suggest that further research is needed to understand external oblique activation among lacrosse positions. Limitations to this study include a small sample size, position distribution, athlete effort during shooting and manual muscle testing, and individual shot mechanics. Future studies should look to perform a study among larger sample sizes with equal position distribution examining external oblique muscle activity and overhead shot kinematics.

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