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Neuromuscular Responses During Aquatic Resistance Exercise With Different Devices and Depths

Colado, Juan C.1; Borreani, Sebastien1; Pinto, Stephanie Santana1,2; Tella, Victor1; Martin, Fernando1; Flandez, Jorge3; Kruel, Luiz F.2

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: December 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 12 - p 3384–3390
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182915ebe
Original Research

Abstract: Colado, JC, Borreani, S, Santana Pinto, S, Tella, V, Martin, F, Flandez, J, and Kruel, LF. Neuromuscular responses during aquatic resistance exercise with different devices and depths. J Strength Cond Res 27(12): 3384–3390, 2013—Little research has been reported regarding the effects of using different devices and immersion depths during the performance of resistance exercises in a water environment. The purpose of this study was to compare muscular activation of upper extremity and core muscles during shoulder extensions performed at maximum velocity with different devices and at different depths. Volunteers (N = 24) young fit male university students performed 3 repetitions of shoulder extensions at maximum velocity using 4 different devices and at 2 different depths. The maximum amplitude of the electromyographic root mean square of the latissimus dorsi (LD), rectus abdominis, and erector lumbar spinae was recorded. Electromyographic signals were normalized to the maximum voluntary isometric contraction. No significant (p > 0.05) differences were found in the neuromuscular responses between the different devices used during the performance of shoulder extension at xiphoid process depth. Regarding the comparisons of muscle activity between the 2 depths analyzed in this study, only the LD showed a significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher activity at the xiphoid process depth compared with that at the clavicle depth. Therefore, if maximum muscle activation of the extremities is required, the xiphoid depth is a better choice than clavicle depth, and the kind of device is not relevant. Regarding core muscles, neither the kind of device nor the immersion depth modifies muscle activation.

1Laboratory of Physical Activity and Health, Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain;

2Exercise Research Laboratory, Physical Education School, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil; and

3Austral University of Chile, Faculty of Pedagogy in Physical Education, Sports, and Recreation, Valdivia, Chile

Address correspondence to Juan C. Colado,

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.