Investigation of Underwater Shoulder Muscle Activity during Manikin-Carrying in Young Elite Lifesaving Athletes

Daniel Hon Ting Tse, Wan Yu Kwok, Billy Chun Lung So (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Manikin carrying is a lifesaving sports technique, in which athletes stroke with one arm and carry a manikin of 60 kg with the other arm as they swim. Stabilizing the manikin exerts great demand on the shoulder muscles of the carrying arm; thus, this study aimed to investigate the muscle activation of the carrying shoulder and the possible factors associated with it. This was a cross-sectional study, in which 20 young elite lifesaving athletes were recruited from the Hong Kong Lifesaving Society. The muscle activity of the posterior deltoid (PD), teres major (TM), and middle trapezius (MT) were recorded with wireless surface electromyography (sEMG) during the performance of 25-m manikin carrying in a swimming pool. The 25-m manikin-carrying was divided into and analyzed in 3 phases: initial, middle, and end phase. The initial phase was defined as the period from the athlete’s first swimming stroke to the end of the third stroke; the middle phase was defined as the period between the initial and the end phase; and the end phase was defined as the period from the last third stroke to the last stroke at the 25-m finishing line. The first web space and grip strength were measured. The speed and number of inhalations were calculated. PD showed muscle activity of 55.73% of maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) in the initial phase and 40.21% MVIC in middle phase. TM showed a muscle activity of 65.26% MVIC in the initial phase and 64.35% MVIC in the middle phase. MT showed 84.54% MVIC in the initial phase and 68.54% MVIC in the middle phase. Young elite athletes showed significant use of PD, TM, and MT during manikin-carrying. The muscle activity levels correlated with the first web space, grip strength, speed, and number of inhalations of the athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2143
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2022


  • Anthropometry
  • Muscle activation
  • Shoulder
  • Sport lifesaving
  • Surface electromyography
  • Waterproof

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this