Although deep-water running (DWR) is often used to obtain the benefits of aerobic fitness and to reduce vertical component stress, its attendant muscle stress remains unclear. The present study investigated lower extremity muscle activity and during DWR compared to that during land walking (LW) and water walking (WW). Surface electromyography was used to evaluate muscle activity in nine healthy adults during each exercise at self-determined slow, moderate, and fast paces. The duration of swing phase, ankle, knee and hip joint angle, and each joint range of motion (ROM) also investigated. Results show that the percentages of maximal voluntary contraction (%MVC) of the soleus and medial gastrocnemius were lower during DWR than during LW or WW in the backward swing phase. The %MVC of the rectus femoris was higher during WW and DWR than during LW; that of the vastus lateralis was lower during WW and DWR than during LW in the forward swing phase. In the biceps femoris, the %MVC was higher during DWR than during LW or WW in the forward and backward swing phase. Every pace showed a similar trend. These results suggest that DWR can stimulate the hip joint flexor or extensor muscles. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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