The Effect of Stance Width on Trunk Kinematics and Trunk Kinetics during Sagitally Symmetric Lifting
Lifting technique can have a significant impact on spine loading during lifting. The sports biomechanics literature has documented changes in trunk and lower extremity kinematics and muscle coactivation patterns as a function of stance width during high force dead lift and squat exercises. The focus of the current study was to explore whether these lifting stance width effects might translate into the occupational setting under more moderate load level conditions. Twelve subjects performed repetitions of a sagittally symmetric lifting and lowering task (10 kg load) under three stance width conditions: narrow (feet together), moderate (feet shoulder width) and wide (feet 150% of shoulder width). As they performed these exertions, trunk kinematics were captured using the lumbar motion monitor while the activity of the trunk muscles (erector spinae, rectus abdominis) and lower extremity muscles (gluteus maximus, vastus lateralis and vastus medialis) were evaluated using normalized electromyography. The results showed that both the range of motion and peak acceleration in the sagittal plane were significantly affected by the stance width. The muscle activation levels, however, were not significantly affected by the stance width. These results collectively would indicate that the stance width effects seen in power lifting activities do not translate well into the occupational environment where more moderate loads are typically lifted.