Volume 30 (2018) Issue 1 Pages 119-123
[Purpose] It has been reported that exercises focusing upon the transversus abdominis (TrA) ameliorate low back pain (LBP). We investigated whether expiratory muscle training (EMT) can promote activity of the TrA to the same degree as the abdominal drawing-in manoeuvre (ADIM) in elderly individuals. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-one elderly subjects (9 males, 12 females; mean age, 84.9 ± 6.6 years) without LBP symptoms were included. Using ultrasound imaging we measured changes in thickness of the lateral abdominal muscles, TrA, internal oblique muscle (IO), and external oblique muscle (EO) during ADIM and EMT. The load in EMT was set to 15% of maximal expiratory pressure. [Results] TrA showed a significant increase in muscle thickness during ADIM and EMT compared with at rest. A significant increase in muscle thickness was noted for EMT in comparison with ADIM. No significant differences were found for IO and EO. [Conclusion] In elderly people, EMT may be an effective alternative to ADIM for promoting activity of the TrA and can be used as an exercise to maintain TrA function.