The relation between abdominal muscle asymmetry and trunk postural stability: An ultrasound imaging study

Bumchul Yoon, Hyoyoung Pyeon, Yushin Kim, Youngki Hong, Sangheon Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The core stability theory has emphasized symmetric co-contraction of both anterolateral abdominal muscles(AAM), but there is a lack of research on whether the symmetric co-contraction of AAM is related to the postural stability of thetrunk.OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the correlation between the symmetric co-contraction of bilateral AAM and trunkangular displacement during sudden trunk perturbation.METHODS: Eighteen subjects were asked to maintain half-seated posture against backward trunk perturbation. Muscle thicknesses of external oblique (EO), internal oblique (IO), and transversus abdominis (TrA) were measured using ultrasound imaging. 3D motion analysis system was utilized to calculate the amount of trunk angular displacement during perturbation.RESULTS: There were significant differences of side-to-side muscle thickness in TrA (P = 0.02) and EO (P = 0.02), butthe difference disappeared during sudden external loading. No significant correlation was identified between the asymmetry ofabdominal muscle thickness and the amount of trunk angular displacement.CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that the side-to-side asymmetry of AAM measured in a static position is rarely relatedto the core stability because the asymmetry can disappear during trunk stabilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1151-1157
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI14C1155 & HI14C3477).

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


  • Anterolateral abdominal muscle
  • Asymmetric activation
  • Core stability
  • Ultrasound imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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