2007 Student Research Conference:
20th Annual Student Research Conference

Human Potential and Performance

Electromyographic Analysis of Forward and Backward Walking
Sara B. Detweiler* and Carianna J. Twaddle
Dr. Michael Bird, Faculty Mentor

This study was an evaluation of electromyographic activation of selected lower extremity muscles during the forward and backward gait to determine the effectiveness of backward walking during rehabilitation. Using the dominant extremity, electromyographic activation of the rectus femoris, biceps femoris, tibialis anterior, and the medial head of the gastrocnemius of 19 healthy college students (mean age of 22 years) was measured. Each subject walked backward and forward at 2.5 mph on a treadmill with no incline. The average integrated activation through the support phase of ten steps was used for all four muscles. Activity during forward and backward locomotion for each muscle was compared using a dependent t-test. The activity level of the rectus femoris and tibialis anterior significantly increased during backward walking, while the medial gastrocnemius decreased (p<0.05). Based on these results, backward walking is an effective method of strengthening anterior muscles of the lower extremity during rehabilitation.

Keywords: electromyographic, walking, gait, muscle, forward, backward

Topic(s):Exercise Science

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 2-1
Location: OP Lobby
Time: 4:15 pm

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