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Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume 2016, Article ID 3987486, 9 pages
Research Article

Comparison of Muscle Onset Activation Sequences between a Golf or Tennis Swing and Common Training Exercises Using Surface Electromyography: A Pilot Study

1Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, University of Pennsylvania, 1800 Lombard Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146, USA
2Human Performance Lab, Sports Medicine Center, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University, 341 Galvez Street, Lower Level, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
3Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Stanford University, 450 Broadway Street, Redwood City, CA 94063, USA

Received 16 November 2015; Revised 21 February 2016; Accepted 10 May 2016

Academic Editor: S. John Sullivan

Copyright © 2016 John M. Vasudevan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Aim. The purpose of this pilot study is to use surface electromyography to determine an individual athlete’s typical muscle onset activation sequence when performing a golf or tennis forward swing and to use the method to assess to what degree the sequence is reproduced with common conditioning exercises and a machine designed for this purpose. Methods. Data for 18 healthy male subjects were collected for 15 muscles of the trunk and lower extremities. Data were filtered and processed to determine the average onset of muscle activation for each motion. A Spearman correlation estimated congruence of activation order between the swing and each exercise. Correlations of each group were pooled with 95% confidence intervals using a random effects meta-analytic strategy. Results. The averaged sequences differed among each athlete tested, but pooled correlations demonstrated a positive association between each exercise and the participants’ natural muscle onset activation sequence. Conclusion. The selected training exercises and Turning Point device all partially reproduced our athletes’ averaged muscle onset activation sequences for both sports. The results support consideration of a larger, adequately powered study using this method to quantify to what degree each of the selected exercises is appropriate for use in both golf and tennis.