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The Use of Lumbar-Supporting Weight Belts While Performing Squats: Erector Spinae Electromyographic Activity.

BAUER, JEFFREY A.; FRX, ANDREW; CARTER, CORY
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 1999
Original Article: PDF Only

This study sought to analyze the effects of subjects' wearing weightlifting lumbar support belts on surface electromyo-graphic recordings of the erector spinae muscle group while the subject executed parallel squats. Ten healthy college-age men with weightlifting experience participated in this study. Participants completed a total of 6 repetitions of high-bar parallel back-squats at loads equaling 60% of their 1 repetition maximum. Experimental conditions required subjects to perform 6 squats, 3 while wearing a belt and 3 without. Electromyographic electrodes recorded muscle activity at 800 Hz on both the right and left erector spinae at the lumbar (L3-L5) and thoracic (T5-T7) regions during all lifts. The results indicate that subjects' mean erector spinae activity was greater (p < 0.0125) in the lumbar region of the spine when wearing weight belts (+/-258 SD; 69.0 analog-to-digital units) during squatting exercises than the mean activity in subjects who were not wearing weight belts (+/-235 SD; 71.3 analog-to-digital units).

(C) 1999 National Strength and Conditioning Association