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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 137-143
Exploration of muscle activity using surface electromyography while performing surya namaskar

MGM Centre of Human Movement Science, MGM School of Physiotherapy, MGM Institute of Health Sciences, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Rajani P Mullerpatan
MGM Centre of Human Movement Science, MGM School of Physiotherapy, MGM Institute of Health Sciences, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoy.IJOY_72_19

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Background: Limited information is available to understand the muscular demands of composite yogasanas such as Surya Namaskar, which is essential to guide prescription of Surya Namaskar in management of commonly prevalent musculoskeletal disorders such as back and knee pain. Aim: Therefore, muscle activation pattern in prime accessible muscles of the trunk and lower extremity, namely lower trapezius, latissimus dorsi, erector spinae, rectus abdominis, gluteus maximus, vastus lateralis, and gastrocnemius, was explored during the traditional 12-pose sequence of Surya Namaskar. Methodology: Muscle activity of 8 healthy trained yoga practitioners (5 females and 3 males) was recorded using wireless, eight-channel surface electromyography (sEMG) system at a sampling rate of 2000 Hz and bandwidth of 20–450 Hz. Data were processed using EMGworks analysis software, and root mean square values were normalized against muscle activity during maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). Results: The 12-pose sequence of Surya Namaskar activated muscles of the trunk, upper and lower extremities to a varying extent, in each pose. During sustenance, erector spinae demonstrated the highest muscle activation in Hastapadasana (64.7% MVC in Pose 3and 64.3% MVC in Pose 11), lower trapezius during Hastapadasana (41.9% MVC in Pose 3and 39.2% in Pose 11); latissimus dorsi during Bhujangasana (37.4% MVC), Ashtangasana (34.9% MVC), and Parvatasana (34.6% MVC in Pose 8,); gluteus maximus in Ashwa Sanchalanasana (38.5% MVC in Poses 9 and 4); and vastus lateralis in Ashwa Sanchalanasana (34.9% MVC). Rectus abdominis demonstrated low activation throughout Surya Namaskar, presenting the highest activation during Parvatasana (22.8% MVC). All recorded muscles demonstrated greater activation during transition compared to sustenance of pose. Conclusion: Surya Namaskar elicited high-to-moderate muscle activation of major postural muscles of the trunk and lower extremity during alternating flexion-extension movements of the spine, supporting its prescription in prevention and management of mechanical low back pain among vulnerable groups of people.

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