Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Performance and Health Education


Health, Physical Education & Recreation

First Advisor

Dr. Mary L. Dawson

Second Advisor

Dr. Roger Zabik

Third Advisor

Dr. Patricia Frye

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The problem of this study was to compare the basic crunch, Ab Roller Plus, EZ-Krunch, and Resist-A-Ball abdominal exercises. For the Resist-A-Ball, a beginner and advanced abdominal exercise were measured. Subjects performed 5 repetitions of each of the 5 exercises and the 4th repetition of each exercise was analyzed. The dependent variables were peak EMG and time to peak EMG of the rectus abdominis; time spent in the concentric, coupling, and eccentric phases; range of motion for the low back, hip, and trunk; and EMG activity of the vastus lateralis, rectus femoris, vastus medialis, and biceps brachii. The results indicated that the basic crunch, Ab Roller Plus, and Resist-A-Ball advanced exercises were not significantly different in recruiting the rectus abdominis muscle, however, all three recruited the abdominals to a greater magnitude than the EZ-Krunch. The Resist-A-Ball advanced exercise was also significantly greater than the beginner exercise in the recruitment of the rectus abdominis, although the beginner exercise was not different than the basic crunch or Ab Roller Plus. All the exercises with the exception of the EZ-Krunch could be used to effectively recruit the rectus abdominis muscle.