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Whitworth Alumna Published in Prestigious Athletics Journal

Kasee Hildenbrand, a 1998 Whitworth alumna, recently published an article on muscle activity in the March 2004 issue of the Journal of Athletic Training. The article, "Abdominal Muscle Activity While Performing Trunk-Flexion Exercises Using the Ab Roller, Abslide, FitBall, and Conventionally Performed Trunk Curls," compares the surface electromyographic activity of the abdominal musculature and rectus femoris muscle during trunk-flexion exercises using three abdominal-exercise devices (Ab Roller, Abslide, and FitBall) and the traditional trunk curl.

Hildrenbrand contributed to the conception and design of the study, as well as the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of the data. She completed the drafting and critical revision of the project and issued final approval of the article.

Hildenbrand graduated from Whitworth with a bachelor's degree in athletic training and is currently attending graduate school at Kansas State University, Kansas, where she is writing a dissertation to earn a Ph.D. in education. Hildenbrand, a certified athletic trainer, received her master's degree in kinesiology, with an emphasis in biomechanics from KSU, in 2001.

"Whitworth provided me with a strong and thorough foundation for continuing my education," Hildenbrand says. "The athletic-training program at Whitworth is very rigorous and does a great job of exposing students to life as athletic trainers without burning them out."

Hildenbrand plans to begin teaching as an adjunct professor at a small college in Kansas once she has completed her Ph.D. She hopes eventually to be a program director for athletic training at a small college. Reflecting upon her time at Whitworth, Hildenbrand mentions how grateful she is to her mentor, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Daman Hagerott.

"Professor Hagerott was instrumental in opening the door for me to conduct graduate work," Hildenbrand says. "His belief in my potential and his influence made me realize my desire to continue with my schooling."

To conduct the published study, Hildenbrand recruited 23 subjects: 10 males and 13 females, all collegiate undergraduate students at the Kansas State University. Each subject performed approximately 15 repetitions for each exercise condition. A repeated-measures, one-way multivariate analysis of variance was used to compare the mean integrated electric activity value for each muscle during each exercise condition.

Hildenbrand states the importance of her study in the introduction of the article in the Journal of Athletic Training:
"The general public is interested in the abdominal musculature not only for its relationship to back pain and proper alignment but also for the role it plays in body image. Because our society deals with obesity and inactivity, the abdominal muscles have been thrust into the spotlight. Traditionally, people have performed abdominal exercises such as sit-ups and abdominal crunches without the assistance of any equipment."

The conclusion of Hildenbrand's study is that the exercise devices did not induce more muscle activity than the traditional methods of trunk curls and sit-ups. For more information regarding Hildrenbrand's study on abdominal muscle activity, visit the following website;

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