Mental exercise uses the same neuronal pathways involved in physical exercise to modify the pattern and function without stress caused by physical exercise. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of three methods of kinesthetic imagery, active, and combined exercise (imagery and active) on the pattern of hip hyperextension and the strength of selected muscle of lumbo-pelvic in women with lumbar hyperlordosis.
Method: In this semi-experimental study, 36 women with lumbar hyperlordosis (age: 34.47±3.79, height: 160.48±12.63, weight: 64.46±18.26) were selected into three groups. The groups practiced for six weeks and three sessions per week. The degree of lumbar lordosis using flexible ruler, electromyographic activity of the lumbo-pelvic muscles during hip hyperextension in the prone position using surface electromyogram and the strength of gluteus maximus using dynamometer during hip hyperextention and the strength of abdominal using goniometer during lowering two leg test and flexibility of hip flexor muscles using goniometer during Thomas test and flexibility of erector spine muscles using meter during schober test, were measured before and after the intervention. Shapiro-Wilk test was used for normality of the data and the repeated measures variance test was used for the statistical analysis of data at the significant level of 0.05.
Results: The results showed a significant difference between the three methods of kinesthetic imagery, active and combined (p value: 0.001). There was a significant difference between method of the imagery exercise with methods of the active and combined exercise but no significant difference between methods of the active and combined exercise.
Conclusion: Imagery exercises were effective in modifying the electromyographic activity of the some lumbo-pelvic muscles (gluteus maximus and rectus femoris muscles). However, it did not have a significant effect on the strength, flexibility and degree of lumbar lordosis. Combined exercise was as effective as active exercise in modifying the electromyographic activity of the lumbo-pelvic muscles and the strength of the abdominal and gluteus maximus muscles and the flexibility of erector spine and hip flexor muscles.