Effects of assisted sit-up exercise compared to core stabilization exercise on patients with non-specific low back pain: A randomized controlled trial

Cho Rong Bae, Yan Jin, Bum Chul Yoon, Nack Hwan Kim, Kun Woo Park, Sang Heon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Traditional sit-up exercise is a simple method to strengthen core muscles. However, it can increase the potential of lumbar spine injury during the bending process. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of assisted sit-up exercise (SUE) using a new training device, HubEX-LEX ®, on strengthening core muscles and improving non-specific low back pain (NSLBP) compared to conventional core stabilization exercise (CSE). METHODS: Subjects with chronic NSLBP were randomly divided into two groups: SUE (n= 18) or CSE (n= 18). They participated in 12 sessions of the exercise program. Before and after the training, thickness and activity of core muscles were measured using ultrasonogram and surface electromyography respectively. Pain and disability were assessed using two questionnaires. RESULTS: Thickness ratios (contracted/rest) of rectus abdominis and external oblique in the SUE group and those of transversus abdominis in the CSE group showed statistically significant difference between before and after exercise (p< 0.05). The ratio of activation of internal oblique relative to rectus abdominis and all measurements for pain and disability showed statistically significant improvement in both groups (p< 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Assisted SUE using new training device can be an effective therapeutic exercise to strengthen dynamic abdominal muscles and improve core muscle activation pattern in NSLBP patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-880
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was partly supported by a grant of the Korean Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HI14C3477), and the Technology Innovation Program (grant number: 10049743, Establishing a medical device development open platform, as a hub for accelerating close firm-hospital communication) funded by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


  • Comparative studies
  • low back pain
  • rehabilitation exercise
  • surface electromyography
  • ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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