Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Low Back Pain -- prevention & control


Strengthening of trunk musculature is an important part of prevention and treatment for low back pain. Various machines have been developed to target the trunk muscles. The Rotary Torso Unit is being marketed by Fitness Plus Inc, however, no research has been conducted to validate the claims made by the manufacturer. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to measure and describe the muscle activity elicited while exercising on the Fitness Plus Rotary Torso Unit. For this study we used 14 healthy male subjects between the ages of22 and 40 and with no prior history of back pathology.

The results of this study show that the Rotary Torso Unit is successful in recruiting the rectus abdominus, internal obliques, external obliques, and erector spinae musculature as was claimed by the company. The results indicate that the Rotary Torso Unit could be an effective tool for the abdominal muscle strengthening. Use of the Rotary Torso Unit in conjunction with other trunk strengthening machines may provide protection and strength of the lumbar spine during functional activities.