The Effectiveness of four Motor Games for the Abdominal Conditioning


  • F. J. Vera
  • N. Arroyo
  • J. L. López
  • J. I. Alonso
  • B. Flores
  • M.A. Sarti


The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of four traditional motor games (“the tunnel”, “the chicken battle”, “the drunk” and “the wheelbarrow race”) for strengthening the abdominal muscles. Electromyography (EMG) was collected from rectus abdominis (RA), external oblique (EO), and internal oblique (IO) from twelve healthy volunteers during the performance of the games and the trunk curl-up exercise. The EMG amplitude was averaged and normalized using maximal voluntary isometric contractions. A two-way ANOVA (muscle / task) was used to compare the level of contraction activity and the way the abdominal muscles co-activated during the different tasks. For EO and IO, the EMG amplitudes during the games were equal or greater than the EMG amplitudes of the curl up. The wheelbarrow race produced the highest intensity of contraction for all muscles. The curl up principally activated RA and IO. On the other hand, the games activated the oblique muscles with higher intensity than RA. On the basis of these results, the motor games are effective for abdominal conditioning.
KEY WORDS: motor games, exercises, training, abdominal muscles, electromyography.


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Author Biographies

F. J. Vera

Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche.

N. Arroyo

Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia.

J. L. López

Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia.

J. I. Alonso

Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia.

B. Flores

Universidad Católica San Antonio de Murcia.

M.A. Sarti

Universidad de Valencia.





Original Research