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No direct research has been conducted on the relationship between subcutaneous tissue thickness and neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES).


The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of subcutaneous tissue thickness on NMES amplitude and NMES force production of the quadriceps.


Simple fixed design, testing the independent variable of subcutaneous thickness (skinfold) groups with the dependent variables of NMES amplitude and force production.


Athletic Training Laboratory.


29 healthy women.


NMES to produce at least 30% of maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC) of the quadriceps.

Main Outcome Measure:

Maximal NMES amplitude and percentage of MVIC using NMES.


A significant skinfold category difference F2,28 = 3.92, P = .032 on NMES amplitude was found. Post hoc revealed the thinnest skinfold category tolerated less amplitude compared to the thickest category. A significant correlation was found between NMES amplitude skinfold category R = .557, P = .002.


Higher NMES amplitudes are needed for the thickest skinfold category compared to the thinnest skinfold category.

Michael Miller, Chris Cheatham, and Tim Michael are with the Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Department at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. E-mail: William Holcomb and Mack D. Rubley are with the Kinesiology Department at UNLV. Rosealin Ganschow is with University Sports Medicine, Buffalo, NY.