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Coined from a cloth named “Serape (shawl-like)" Logan and McKinney first reported the serape effect in 1970. It is defined as the connection of the shoulder and opposite hip muscles with a contralateral rotational pre-stretch, which boosts power output. The serape effect has been expanded to include the powerful hip flexors and adductors in the lower extremities, highlighting the human body's helix structure's strength. The serape effect creates an "X" pattern over the front of the body. Rotational force is dominant along with core stability.
The core is thought to be the body's powerhouse for transmitting energy to the extremities. All-level athletes need to include core stability and strength workouts in their training regimens. Due to injuries to the upper and lower extremities, high-performing athletes are occasionally forced to withdraw from competition. Increasing core strength, overcoming extremity-muscle weakness and trunk flexibility are the key goals of the training, conditioning, and rehabilitation procedures. Core muscles play a pivotal role in the passage of force from the core to the limbs, serving as a conduit between the upper and lower limbs. In basic terms, muscles are strained and then swung back with greater strength. The core may be separated into two sections for easier comprehension. Firstly, the torso is made up of all the muscles related to the chest, abdomen, rib cage, and back and runs between the ball and socket joints of the shoulders and pelvis. It is also classified as a traditional core and is usually used in stop motion. The muscles that connect the shoulders and hips to the upper and lower limbs make up the second section. Because of its size and propensity to stiffen, the second segment works as a kind of anchor for the limbs, particularly the upper extremities. Stiffness is a necessary condition for stability and successful force transfer, as well as one of the keys to avoiding injuries. The stiffened core allows energy generated distally to the ball and socket joints to be transferred to the neighboring joint, producing a whip.
The serape effect is mainly produced by four pairs of muscles, which are known as "serape muscles": 1) rhomboids, 2) serratus anterior, 3) external abdominal obliques, and 4) internal abdominal obliques. The rhomboids are responsible for upper limb motion and stability in both the shoulder girdle and the scapula. The serratus anterior, which is stimulated during push-ups, is directly related to the external abdominal obliques. Plank exercise activates the internal abdominal obliques, which are narrow, wide, and create abdominal layers. These muscles store and distribute potential kinetic energy to the extremities. The Serape Effect can be seen in boxing, kicking, and discus throwing, which involves the transfer of internal forces from large body segments (trunk) to smaller body parts (limbs) and diagonal movements, which involve the transfer of force to any object diagonally from one limb to another limb, thus maintaining balance and keeping the body upright.
Despite the scarcity of studies in this field, the serape effect has been proven to be effective in core strengthening, injury prevention, rehabilitation, performance enhancement, stabilization exercises, functional advancement and back pain management.