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The Recline Exercise: Comparisons with the Head Lift Exercise in Healthy Adults

Abstract

The aim of this investigation was to examine the comparative effectiveness of the new Recline Exercise (RE) and the traditional Head Lift Exercise (Shaker Exercise) on submental muscle activity, tongue strength, and perceived exertion in 40 healthy young adults (mean age = 24.5 years, SD 2.6 years). Both groups participated in a 6-week exercise regimen. Outcome variables evaluated pre- and post-exercise included: duration and peak amplitude of submental muscle activity during swallowing measured via surface electromyography (sEMG); anterior and posterior isometric lingual pressures measured with the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument; and perceived exertion levels measured with the Borg category-ratio scale of perceived exertion. Results indicated no significant pre-post differences within or between groups in swallow duration and peak amplitude. In addition, the RE group demonstrated significant post-treatment increases in anterior and posterior tongue strength [p = 0.009; p < 0.001]; however, these increases were of small magnitude (d = 0.132; d = 0.319). Both groups showed marked improvements in perceived exertion levels [p < 0.001]. Our findings indicate that healthy young adults who perform the RE or the HLE do not have significant swallow duration or amplitude gains, most likely due to the reduced need for such gains in the healthy head/neck musculature for submaximal tasks. Furthermore, the significant lingual strength gains seen with the RE indicate that additional musculature is being engaged during its completion. These results are encouraging; however, future research in older adults and patients with dysphagia with examination of swallowing biomechanics is needed to determine its full potential as a rehabilitative regimen.

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Acknowledgments

This work was partially supported by the Teachers College, Columbia University 2013 Dean’s Student Research Grant, awarded to the first author.

Author information

Correspondence to Georgia A. Malandraki.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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This research involved human participation at Teachers College, Columbia University and was approved by the Institutional Review Board of Teachers College, Columbia University. All participants volunteered for this research investigation.

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In addition to verbal consent, all participants signed informed consent statements following a thorough explanation of the research protocol.

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Mishra, A., Rajappa, A., Tipton, E. et al. The Recline Exercise: Comparisons with the Head Lift Exercise in Healthy Adults. Dysphagia 30, 730–737 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00455-015-9651-0

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Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Surface electromyography
  • Lingual strength
  • Deglutition
  • Disorders
  • Recline