This study aimed to clarify the differences in the onset of trunk muscle activity with and without anticipation of the movement starting time during rapid shoulder movements. Ten healthy men in a relaxed upright position performed rapid 135° flexion, 135° abduction, and 45° extension of the shoulder on the dominant hand side with and without anticipation of the movement starting time. They moved their shoulder joints following a 3-s countdown and a light stimulus in the anticipation and non-anticipation conditions, respectively. Electromyography of the anterior and posterior quadratus lumborum, transversus abdominis, internal oblique, external oblique, rectus abdominis, lumbar multifidus, lumbar erector spinae on the non-dominant hand side, and the middle deltoid on the dominant hand side were measured. The onset of activity of each trunk muscle relative to the onset of the middle deltoid was calculated. Two-way analysis of variance (eight trunk muscles × two anticipation conditions) was used to compare the onset of electromyographic activity of the trunk muscles in each direction of the shoulder movement. There were significant interactions between the muscles and anticipation conditions during shoulder abduction and extension. The onset of activity in the anterior and posterior quadratus lumborum, transversus abdominis, and internal oblique occurred earlier with anticipation of the movement starting time than without anticipation during shoulder abduction and extension. The anticipation of movement starting time may contribute to a reliable center of mass control within the support base and improve lumbar spine stability by hastening the onset of activity of the deep trunk muscles.
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