[Purpose] To measure electromyographic activity of the piriformis using fine-wire electrodes during 7 hip movements. [Subjects and Methods] Eleven healthy men, without severe low back pain or lower limb injury, participated in this study. Fine-wire electrodes were inserted into the piriformis and surface electrodes were attached to the muscles in the hip region and the trunk muscles on the dominant arm side. Electromyographic signal amplitude was measured during 7 hip movements: side-lying external rotation in hip neutral position, side-lying abduction in hip neutral position, side-lying abduction in hip external rotation, side-lying abduction in hip internal rotation, prone extension in hip neutral position, prone extension in hip external rotation, and prone extension in hip internal rotation. Repeated-measures one-way analysis of variance was used to examine electromyographic activity in each of the 7 hip movements. [Results] Piriformis electromyographic activity was highest during prone hip extension in external rotation. Both the superior and inferior portions of the gluteus maximus were also highly activated during prone hip extension in external rotation. [Conclusion] Prone hip extension in external rotation induced high electromyographic activity in the piriformis and superior and inferior gluteus maximus muscles.
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