Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

David Relling


Electromyography; Hockey; Muscles -- physiology; Muscle, Skeletal


The number of female hockey players has increased significantly in the last decade. The first recorded female hockey game was in Ottawa in 1889. Since that time, hockey has spread into the United States .. Today, USA Hockey, Inc. reports 40,000 registered females and the Canadian Hockey Association has 55,000 female hockey players. Despite the rising popularity of the sport among females, there is little research specifically related to female hockey players.

Golf, tennis, and hockey swings utilize similar rotational components about the trunk. Trunk rotation is controlled and produced by the erector spinae, external oblique and rectus abdominus muscles. Research related to trunk muscle activity has been conducted in tennis and golf, but there is a lack of information related to trunk muscle activity in female hockey players. The purpose of this study is to investigate EMG activity of the erector spinae, external oblique and rectus abdominus muscles in elite collegiate women hockey players during wrist and slap shots.

Seven females, ages twenty to twenty two, from a Division I women's hockey program were fitted with surface EMG electrodes prior to performing three wrist shots and three slap shots. The EMG activity from the erector spinae, external oblique, and rectus abdominus was rectified, normalized to MVC, and smoothed using RMS at 50 ms. Mean EMG activity was operationally defined as the average EMG activity of all the wrist shots or slap shots taken by each subject. Statistical analysis using a repeated measures ANOV A was performed to assess differences between mean EMG activity of the wrist and slap shot, as well as between individual trunk muscles.

The results demonstrated no interaction of muscle and shot type on mean EMG activity. There was a significant increase (p<0.001 with a power of 0.972) in mean EMG activity during the slap shot when compared to the wrist shot. Analysis of individual trunk muscles displayed no significant difference between muscles (p=.233). The higher velocity of movement during the slap shot may be responsible for the increase in EMG activity suggesting sport specific training activities should incorporate high speed activities.