EMG Study

Axis BarsTM and Exercise Training Equipment

Independent Evaluation

 

Dr. Gerry Hovde, DC, DACNB

Dr. Jeff Fishel, MS, DC

Overview:    On September 14, 2013, a certified neurologist in electromyography performed needle EMG study on specific muscles in the upper extremity and shoulder to compare the amplitude and neuromuscular recruitment patterns between traditional dumbbell and Olympic bar grips vs. AxisTM grips.  In addition to the focal muscle groups being analyzed with the needle EMG, the core muscle belt was simultaneously observed and analyzed with wireless surface EMG’s using a BTS wireless EMG system.   The objective study was performed comparing AxisTM grip vs. traditional bar grips used in exercise.  Needle and surface Electromyography were utilized to assess neuromuscular recruitment similarities or differences while performing simple tasks of bicep curl, tricep overhead press, deltoid lateral raises and wrist pronation supination.  Needle EMGs were placed on forearm, bicep, tricep and deltoid muscles.  Surface EMGs were placed on core muscle belt to view neuromuscular recruitment on transverse abdominus, internal obliques and posterior spinal core muscle the multifidus at lumbar vertebral level of L3 and L4.

Needle EMG Muscles Tested:

  • Deltoid
  • Bicep Brachii
  • Tricep
  • Brachioradialis
  • Pronator Teres
  • Opponens Pollicis
  • Abductor Minimi

Surface Wireless EMG Muscles Tested:

  • Multifidi – Right and Left
  • Transverse Abdmoninus – Right and Left
  • Internal Obliques – Right and Left

Findings were remarkable with Axis barTM grip.  Not only did the needle EMGs demonstrate increase activation of targeted muscle groups, also core muscle groups were analyzed while performed bicep curl, tricep overhead press and deltoid lateral raise.  Certainly not anticipated, but significant findings with heightened core musculature activation.

It was noted that Internal Obliques and Transverse Abdominus increase neuromuscular recruitment and muscle activation were found to be significantly higher with the Axis barTM compared to the traditional bar.

The Multifidus Lumbar Spine decreased activation which is a much more desired neuromuscular recruitment pattern.  It is known that recruitment of abdominal musculature protects the spine.  Inversely the delay or absence in abdominal muscle activation is known to contribute to and be correlated with lower back pain, dysfunction of lumbar spine and disc degeneration

This study demonstrated:

  • Increased core muscle activation with AxisTM grips vs. dumbbells and Olympic Bar of same weight
  • Increased muscle isolation and target muscle recruitment with AxisTM grips vs. Olympic Bar or dumbbells of equal weight

Extrapolate information from EMG data would lead to the conclusion that training with AxisTM grips is more efficient.  Less weight is needed for same neuromuscular recruitment, therefore placing less stress in joints while training muscular components.

Simply put AxisTM grips “reflexogenically” demonstrated to correct abdominal muscle activation patterns often seen with persons with lower back pain.  AxisTM grips worked core muscles that help protect the lumbar discs.


AxisTM grips required more muscle activation than did the Olympic bar or dumbbell of equal weight.

 

 

Dr. Jeffery C. Fishel

 

 

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Axis BarTM (45 lb)– Bicep Curl – Right and Left Multifidus

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Straight Olympic Bar (45 lb) – Bicep Curl – Right and Left Multifidus

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Axis BarTM (45 lb) – Bicep Curl – Abdominals

EMG Signal 2 and 3 – Right and Left Transverse Abdominus

EMG Signal 4 and 5 – Right and Left Internal Obliques

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Straight Olympic Bar (45 lb) – Bicep Curl – Abdominals


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Axis BarTM (45 lb) – Tricep Overhead Press – Right and Left Multifidus

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Straight Olympic (45 lb) Bar – Tricep Overhead Press – Right and Left Multifidus

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 (45 lb) – Tricep Overhead Press – Abdominals

EMG Signal 2 and 3 – Right and Left Transverse Abdominus

EMG Signal 4 and 5 – Right and Left Internal Obliques

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Straight Olympic Bar (45 lbs) – Tricep Overhead Press – Abdominals

 

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Dumbbell Deltoid Lateral Raise – Right and Left Multifidus

 

 

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TM Grip – Deltoid Lateral Raise – Right and Left Multifidus

 

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AxisTM Grip – Deltoid Lateral Raise – Abdominals

EMG Signal 2 and 3 – Right and Left Transverse Abdominus

EMG Signal 4 and 5 – Right and Left Internal Obliques

 

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Dumbbell – Deltoid Lateral Raise – Abdominals

Muldifidus Explanation:

The multifidi muscles are located along the spine and its job is to protect the spine.  It is a good firing pattern for the abdominals to be firing more than the multifidi which is the case in all the exercises performed with the Axis barTM.  If the abdominal muscles are firing and stabilizing the body while performing a task and the multifidi muscles are not having to fire as much to help, then that means less stress is going to the back (multifidi). It is ok for the multifidi to fire as long as the abdominals are firing with it.  But you don’t want the multifidi to be firing and the abdominals to not be firing.

 

In all of the exercises with the Axis barTM, the Multifidus Lumbar Spine decreased activation which is a much more desired neuromuscular recruitment pattern.  It is known that recruitment of abdominal musculature protects the spine.

 

It is important that the multifidi have a lower amplitude which signifies that the abdominal core muscles have picked up the slack for the multifidi.  The multifidi protects the disc and overuse of it leads to disc herniations and disc degeneration.

 

So, the AxisTM grips take the stress off the back while using them compared to the Olympic bar and standard dumbbells.