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Silva, FHO, Arantes, FJ, Gregorio, FC, Santos, FRA, Fidale, TM, Berzin, F, Bigaton, DR, and Lizardo, FB. Comparison of the electromyographic activity of the trunk and rectus femoris muscles during traditional crunch and exercise using the 5-minute Shaper device. J Strength Cond Res 34(1): 1-10, 2020-Different training devices are available to trigger greater activation of the abdominal muscles compared with that achieved during traditional abdominal exercises. This study aimed to compare the electromyographic (EMG) activity of the upper and lower rectus abdominis, external oblique abdominis, erector spinae, and rectus femoris (RF) muscles during traditional crunch and exercise using the 5-minute Shaper device. A convenience sample of 15 healthy men (mean /- SD; age: 23.65 /- 4.49 years, body fat percentage: 14.26 /- 3.56%) was selected. All men regularly participated in physical activity. Electromyographic data were collected for 5 repetitions of each abdominal exercise (traditional crunch and exercise using the 5-minute Shaper device at beginner, intermediate, advanced, and extreme levels) in a randomized and counterbalanced manner. Data were collected using simple differential surface electrodes and analyzed using repeated-measures analysis of variance (p < 0.05). Electromyographic signals were quantified using a root-mean-square analysis and normalized using the maximum voluntary isometric contraction. Traditional crunch produced greater or similar EMG activity in the abdominal muscles and minimized RF activity compared to the 5-minute Shaper device, hence, traditional crunch is preferred for training, especially for individuals with weak abdominal musculature and lower back problems. Therefore, the use of the 5-minute Shaper device may be questioned when it is intended to intensify the activity of the abdominal muscles; however, this apparatus may be used if greater variations in training are desired, depending on individual preferences.

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