1-s2.0-S1466853X14X00039-cov150hAbdominal muscle EMG-activity during bridge exercises on stable and unstable surfaces

  • a Department of Physiotherapy, Józef Rusiecki University College in Olsztyn, 10-243 Olsztyn, Bydgoska 33, Poland
  • b Department of Posture Correction, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport in Biala Podlaska, Józef Piłsudski University of Physical Education in Warsaw, Poland
  • c Physical Therapy and Exercise Center, Valencia, Spain
  • d Institute for Research on Musculoskeletal Disorders, School of Medicine, Valencia Catholic University, Valencia, Spain
  • e Fizjo-Sport, Rzeszów, Poland



To assess abdominal muscles (AM) activity during prone, side, and supine bridge on stable and unstable surfaces (BOSU, Swiss Ball).


Prospective comparison study.


Research laboratory.


Thirty-three healthy volunteers from a university population.

Main outcome measures

Surface electromyography of the rectus abdominis (RA), the external oblique (EO) and the internal oblique with the transversus abdominis (IO-TA).


The AM exhibited the highest activity during prone bridge on a Swiss Ball (RA, EO, IO-TA 44.7 ± 19.2, 54.7 ± 22.9, 36.8 ± 18.6 in % of MVC, respectively). The lowest activity was observed during supine bridge on a stable surface and a BOSU (under 5.0). The lowest ratio analyzed on the basis of the relation of EO and IO-TA activity to RA was obtained during prone bridge on the Swiss Ball (1.4 ± 0.7 for EO, 0.9 ± 0.5 for IO-TA). The highest ratio was obtained during prone bridge on stable surface and supine bridges.


The highest level of activity in the abdominal muscles is achieved during prone bridge on a Swiss Ball. However, this exercise provided the lowest activity of the EO and IO-TA in relation to RA. It is essential to conduct further studies verifying the usefulness of using Swiss Ball during core stability training.


  • Electromyography;
  • Swiss Ball;
  • BOSU;
  • Core stability;
  • Sport training