Trunk and shoulder emg and lumbar kinematics of medicine-ball side throw and side catch and throw


  • Francisco J. Vera-Garcia
  • Iñaki Ruiz-Pérez
  • David Barbado
  • Casto Juan-Recio
  • Stuart M. McGill


The objective of this study was to analyze trunk and shoulder muscle activation and lumbar spine kinematics of backward and forward phases during both isolated medicine-ball side throws, and medicine-ball side catch and throw sequences. Thirteen recreationally trained men performed three isolated medicine-ball side throws with 1 min rest between repetitions, and three medicine-ball side catch and throw sequences. Surface electromyography signals were collected bilaterally in seven trunk muscles and in the right side for anterior deltoid and pectoralis major. Spine kinematics were measured using an electromagnetic tracking instrument. The results showed that left external oblique and right anterior deltoid activations reached peak levels above 100% MVC during the forward phase highlighting their important role during side medicine-ball throwing. When both exercises were compared, the amplitude of the lumbar motion and the muscle activation in the backward phase were higher during the medicine-ball side catch and throw than in the medicine-ball side throw. According to these results, the medicine-ball side catch and throw is a high demanding plyometric exercise, which seems more appropriate for high performance throwing and striking athletes than for recreationally trained individuals. Suggestions to reduce back injury risk were provided.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...


Borghuis, J., Hof, A. L., & Lemmink, K. A. (2008). The importance of sensory-motor control in providing core stability: implications for measurement and training. Sports Med, 38(11), 893-916. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200838110-00002.

Cavagna, G. A., Mazzanti, M., Heglund, N. C., & Citterio, G. (1985). Storage and release of mechanical energy by active muscle: a non-elastic mechanism. J Exp Biol, 115, 79-87.

Delagi, E. F., Perotto, A., Lazzeti, J., & Morrison, D. (1981). Anatomic Guide for the Electromyographer. Springfield, USA: Charles C. Thomas Publisher.

Falk, B., Cohen, Y., Lustig, G., Lander, Y., Yaaron, M., & Ayalon, J. (2001). Tracking of physical fitness components in boys and girls from the second to sixth grades. Am J Hum Biol, 13, 65-70.

Fernandez-Fernandez, J., Ellenbecker, T., Sanz-Rivas, D., Ulbricht, A., & Ferrauti, A. (2013). Effects of a 6-Week junior tennis conditioning program on service velocity. J Sports Sci Med, 12, 232-239.

Freeman, S., Karpowicz, A., Gray, J., & McGill, S. (2006). Quantifying muscle patterns and spine load during various forms of the push-up. Med Sci Sport Exer, 38(3), 570-577.

García-Vaquero, M. P., Moreside, J. M., Brontons-Gil, E., Peco-González, N., & Vera-Garcia, F. J. (2012). Trunk muscle activation during stabilization exercises with single and double leg support. J Electromyogr Kinesiol, 22(3), 398-406. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2012.02.017.

Genevois, C., Frican, B., Creveaux, T., Hautier, C., & Rogowski, I. (2013). Effects of two training protocols on the forehand drive performance in tennis. J Strength Cond Res, 27(3), 677-682. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825c3290.

Henchoz, Y., Malatesta, D., Gremion, G., & Belli, A. (2006). Effects of the transition time between muscle-tendon stretch and shortening on mechanical efficiency. Eur J Appl Physiol, 96(6), 665-671.

Hirashima, M., Kadota, H., Sakurai, S., Kudo, K., & Ohtsuki, T. (2002). Sequential muscle activity and its functional role in the upper extremity and trunk during overarm throwing. J Sports Sci, 20(4), 301-310.

Ikeda, Y., Miyatsuji, K., Kawabata, K., Fuchimoto, T., & Ito, A. (2009). Analysis of trunk muscle activity in the side medicine-ball throw. J Strength Cond Res, 23(8), 2231-2240. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b8676f.

Kibler, W. B., Press, J., & Sciascia, A. (2006). The role of core stability in athletic function. Sports Med, 36(3), 189-198.

Marshall, L., & McGill, S. M. (2010). The role of axial torque/twist in disc herniation. Clin Biomech, 25(1), 6-9. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2009.09.003.

McGill, S. M. (2002). Low back disorders. Evidence-based prevention and rehabilitation. Champaign, Illinois: Human Kinetics.

McGill, S. M. (2006). Ultimate back fitness and performance. 2ª ed. Waterloo, Canada: Wabuno Publishers.

Monfort-Pañego, M., Vera-Garcia, F. J., Sánchez-Zuriaga, D., & Sarti-Martínez, M. A. (2009). Electromyographic studies in abdominal exercises: a literature synthesis. J Manip Physiol Ther, 32(3), 232-244. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2009.02.007.

Ouergui, I., Hssin, N., Haddad, M., Padulo, J., Franchini, E., Gmada, N., & Bouhlel, E. (2014). The effects of five weeks of kickboxing training on physical fitness. Muscles Ligaments Tendons J, 14:4(2), 106-113.

Salonia, M. A., Chu, D. A., Cheifetz, P. M., & Freidhoff, G. C. (2004). Upper-body power as measured by medicine ball throw distance and its relationship to class level among 10- and 11-year-old female participants in club gymnastics. J Strength Cond Res, 18(4), 695-702.

Santana, J. C., Vera-Garcia, F. J., & McGill, S. M. (2007). A kinetic and electromyographic comparison of the standing cable press and bench press. J Strength Cond Res, 21(4), 1271-1279.

Stodden, D. F., Campbell, B. M., & Moyer, T. M. (2008). Comparison of trunk kinematics in trunk training exercises and throwing. J Strength Cond Res, 22(1), 112-118. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31815f2a1e.

Szymanski, D. J., Szymanski, J. M., Bradford, T. J., Schade, R. L., & Pascoe, D. D. (2007). Effect of twelve weeks of medicine ball training on high school baseball players. J Strength Cond Res, 21(3), 894-901.

Vera-Garcia, F. J., Barbado, D., & Moya, M. (2014). Trunk stabilization exercises for healthy individuals. Rev Bras Cineantropom Desempenho Hum, 16(2), 200-211.

Vera-Garcia, F. J., Flores-Parodi, B., Elvira, J. L., & Sarti, M. A. (2008). Influence of trunk curl-up speed on muscular recruitment. J Strength Cond Res, 22(3), 684-690. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31816d5578.

Vera-Garcia, F. J., Moreside, J. M., & McGill, S. M. (2010). MVC techniques to normalize trunk muscle EMG in healthy women. J Electromyogr Kinesiol, 20(1), 10-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2009.03.010.






Original Research