Effects of coupled upper limbs movements on postural stabilisation

Andrea Tettamanti, Martino Giordano, Roberto Gatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The preference for in-phase association of coupled cyclic limbs movements is well described (mirror-symmetrical patterns) and this is demonstrated by the ease of performing in-phase movements compared to anti-phase ones. The hypothesis of this study is that the easiest movement patterns are those with minor postural activity. The aim of this study was to describe postural activity in standing subjects in the sagittal and frontal planes during the execution of three upper limbs tasks (single arm, in-phase, anti-phase) at four different frequencies (from 0.6 to 1.2. Hz).We employed six infrared cameras for recording kinematics information, a force platform for measuring forces exerted on the ground, and a system for surface electromyography (SEMG). Outcome measures were: upper limb range of movement and relative-phase, centre of pressure displacement (COP), screw torque (Tz) exerted on the ground, and SEMG recordings of postural muscles (adductor longus, gluteus medius, rectus femoris, and biceps femoris).Our results show that in both the planes the in-phase task resulted in less COP displacement, torque production, and postural muscles involvement than the anti-phase and single arm tasks. This reduced need of postural control could explain the ease of performing in-phase coupled limb movements compared with anti-phase movements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1222-1228
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013



  • Anti-phase
  • Motor control
  • Postural control
  • Stabilisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology

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