Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr




Backward walking, a closed kinetic chain exercise, has become an increasingly popular intervention following lower extremity injuries secondary to suggested increases in muscle activity. Despite its use, there is limited research available relative to walking at inclines, forward or backward, above 24 and 15 percent respectively. For this study we recorded EMG activity in six muscles while walking forward and backward on a treadmill at 0,25, and 35 percent inclinations.

In general, our results indicated a greater increase in muscle activity during BW than FW. BW at 35 percent inclination elicited the greatest EMG increase within the rectus femoris (47%), vastus lateralis (67%), vastus medialis (68%), and semitendinosis (48%). BW at 25 percent increased the activity of the biceps femoris by 38%. The gastrocnemius showed its greatest increase in activity, 55%, during FW at 25 percent inclination.

We conclude that BW at inclines can be beneficial for lower extremity rehabilitation.