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Carlo J. De Luca

This lecture explores the various uses of surface electromyography in the field of biomechanics. Three groups of applications are considered: those involving the activation timing of muscles, the force/EMG signal relationship, and the use of the EMG signal as a fatigue index. Technical considerations for recording the EMG signal with maximal fidelity are reviewed, and a compendium of all known factors that affect the information contained in the EMG signal is presented. Questions are posed to guide the practitioner in the proper use of surface electromyography. Sixteen recommendations are made regarding the proper detection, analysis, and interpretation of the EMG signal and measured force. Sixteen outstanding problems that present the greatest challenges to the advancement of surface electromyography are put forward for consideration. Finally, a plea is made for arriving at an international agreement on procedures commonly used in electromyography and biomechanics.

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Guillaume Gaudet, Maxime Raison, Fabien Dal Maso, Sofiane Achiche and Mickael Begon

The aim of this study is to determine the intra- and intersession reliability of nonnormalized surface electromyography (sEMG) on the muscles actuating the forearm during maximum voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC). A subobjective of this study is to determine the intra- and intersession reliability of forearm MVIC force or torque, which is a prerequisite to assess sEMG reliability. Eighteen healthy adults participated at 4 different times: baseline, 1-h post, 6-h post, and 24-h post. They performed 3 MVIC trials of forearm flexion, extension, pronation, and supination. sEMG of the biceps brachii short head, brachialis, brachioradialis, triceps brachii long head, pronator teres, and pronator quadratus were measured. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) on MVIC ranged from 0.36 to 0.99. Reliability was excellent for flexion, extension, and supination MVIC for both intra- and intersession. The ICC on sEMG ranged from 0.58 to 0.99. sEMG reliability was excellent for brachialis, brachioradialis, and pronator quadratus, and good to excellent for triceps brachii, biceps brachii, and pronator teres. This study shows that performing 3 MVICs is sufficient to obtain highly reliable maximal sEMG over 24 h for the main muscles actuating the forearm. These results confirm the potential of sEMG for muscle motor functional monitoring.

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Jerónimo Aragón-Vela, Yaira Barranco-Ruiz, Cristina Casals-Vázquez, Julio Plaza-Díaz, Rafael A. Casuso, Luis Fontana and Jesús F. Rodríguez Huertas

Evaluation of muscular fatigue thresholds in athletes performing short-duration and explosive exercises is difficult because classic parameters do not suffer large variations. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a new method to estimate the fatigue threshold in single muscles. Our approach is based on electromyographic data recorded during a maximum incremental strength test until the one repetition maximum is reached. Ten men and 10 women performed a half-squat strength test consisting of five incremental intensities of one repetition maximum. Neither heart rate nor blood lactate concentrations showed significant differences at the various intensities tested. Surface electromyographic activities of vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and rectus femoris were recorded, finding a break point corresponding to the fatigue threshold occurring in men at 70.74%, 71.48%, and 72.52% of one repetition maximum, respectively. In women, break-point values were 76.66% for vastus lateralis, 76.27% for vastus medialis, and 72.10% for rectus femoris. In conclusion, surface electromyography could be a useful, rapid, and noninvasive tool to determine the fatigue threshold of independent muscles during a maximal half-squat strength test.

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Asger R. Pedersen, Peter W. Stubbs and Jørgen F. Nielsen

The aim was to challenge the assumptions of standard statistical analyses of average surface electromyography (sEMG) data as a measurement of response magnitudes following the generation of a reflex. The ipsilateral tibial nerve was stimulated at three stimulation intensities and the response sEMG was measured in the contralateral soleus (cSOL) muscle. The magnitude of the cSOL response was measured at a set time window following ipsilateral tibial nerve stimulation. The averaged and trial-by-trial response magnitudes were assessed and compared. The analysis of the averaged and trial-by-trial response revealed significantly different results as the trial-by trial response magnitudes were log-normally distributed with between subject variance heterogeneity violating assumptions of standard statistical analyses. A statistical model has been suggested for the analysis of the responses. By ignoring trial-by-trial response variability and distribution, erroneous results may occur. This may change the interpretation of the results in some studies.

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Kin Shung, Carlos G. de Oliveira and Jurandir Nadal

The walk–run transition (WRT) is a well-described phenomenon without any known cause; however, mechanical variables related to human gait have been associated with the WRT. This study tested the hypothesis that shock waves in the tibia and 3rd lumbar vertebra in addition to activity of tibialis anterior, vastus lateralis, and erector spinae muscles could be responsible for the WRT. Thirty subjects walked and ran on a treadmill at 80%, 90%, 100%, 110%, and 120% of preferred transition speed. Shock waves were measured with skin-mounted accelerometers and muscle activity by surface electromyography. The influence on the WRT was analyzed with two models. The shock waves and muscle activity tended to a significant increase (p < .05) for both walking and running with increased speed. The only factor that appeared to be involved in the WRT mechanism was the activity of the tibialis anterior; however, this was only confirmed by one of the two models. The use of different models to analyze the same data for the WRT triggers may give different results; thus, a standard model is required to investigate the influence of given factors on biological phenomena.

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Remco J. Baggen, Jaap H. van Dieën, Sabine M. Verschueren, Evelien Van Roie and Christophe Delecluse

Surface electromyography (EMG) is commonly used to measure muscle activation during task performance. It is often used to indirectly estimate individual muscle forces during a contraction 1 instead of measuring force directly (eg, with a dynamometer). This is likely because direct force

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Isabelle Rogowski, David Rouffet, Frédéric Lambalot, Olivier Brosseau and Christophe Hautier

This study compared EMG activity of young tennis players’ muscles during forehand drives in two groups, GD—those able to raise by more than 150% the vertical velocity of racket-face at impact from flat to topspin forehand drives, and GND, those not able to increase their vertical velocity to the same extent. Upper limb joint angles, racket-face velocities, and average EMGrms values, were studied. At similar joint angles, a fall in horizontal velocity and a rise in racket-face vertical velocity from flat to topspin forehand drives were observed. Shoulder muscle activity rose from flat to topspin forehand drives in GND, but not for drives in GD. Forearm muscle activity reduced from flat to topspin forehand drives in GD, but muscle activation was similar in GND. The results show that radial deviation increased racket-face vertical velocity more at impact from the flat to topspin forehand drives than shoulder abduction.

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Afshin Samani and Mathias Kristiansen

frequently applied algorithms to derive muscle synergies, nonnegative matrix factorization, decomposes a matrix containing the surface electromyography (EMG) of multiple muscles into a product of a time-invariant component termed “muscle synergy vectors” and a time-variant component termed “synergy

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Graeme G. Sorbie, Fergal M. Grace, Yaodong Gu, Julien S. Baker and Ukadike C. Ugbolue

their assistance with the Myon 320 system during the early stages of the project. References 1. Norali A , Som M . Surface electromyography signal processing and application: a review . Proceedings of the International Conference on Man-Machine Systems (ICoMMS) ; 2009 . 2. Dickerson CR

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Chadwick Debison-Larabie, Bernadette A. Murphy and Michael W.R. Holmes

surface electromyography system (Trigno™; Delsys Inc, Natick, MA). These muscles were chosen because the SCM acts bilaterally as a prime mover for neck flexion and unilaterally in ipsilateral neck lateral bend and contralateral rotation, whereas the SPC is the most superficial extensor muscle, creating