This study aimed to identify areas of reduced surface EMG amplitude and changed frequency across the phase space of a maximal dynamic knee extension task. The hypotheses were that (1) amplitude would be lower for eccentric contractions compared with concentric contractions and unaffected by fiber length and (2) mean frequency would also be lower for eccentric contractions and unaffected by fiber length. Joint torque and EMG signals from the vasti and rectus femoris were recorded for eight athletic subjects performing maximum knee extensions at 13 preset crank velocities spanning ±300°⋅s−1. The instantaneous amplitude and mean frequency were calculated using the continuous wavelet transform time–frequency method, and the fiber dynamics were determined using a muscle model of the knee extensions. The results indicated that (1) only for the rectus femoris were amplitudes significantly lower for eccentric contractions (p = .019) and, for the vasti, amplitudes during eccentric contractions were less than maximal but this was also the case for concentric contractions due to a significant reduction in amplitude toward knee extension (p = .023), and (2) mean frequency increased significantly with decreasing fiber length for all knee extensors and contraction velocities (p = .029). Using time–frequency processing of the EMG signals and a muscle model allowed the simultaneous assessment of fiber length, velocity, and EMG.
Stephanie E. Forrester and Matthew T.G. Pain
Sean A. Jones, Derek N. Pamukoff, Timothy C. Mauntel, J. Troy Blackburn, and Joseph B. Myers
As such, examining electromyography of the rotator cuff and deltoid musculature during Ys, Ts, and Ws is relevant to exercise selection. The electromyographic (EMG) amplitude of select shoulder musculature is commonly assessed to evaluate the suitability of an exercise. EMG amplitude can be used to
Betteco J. de Boer, C. (Lieke) E. Peper, Arne Ridderikhoff, and Peter J. Beek
In the current study, we examined whether coupling influences resulting from unintended afference-based phase entrainment are affected by movement amplitude as such or by the amplitude relation between the limbs. We assessed entrainment strength by studying how passive movements of the contralateral hand influenced unimanual coordination with a metronome. Results showed that amplitude as such did not affect entrainment strength, whereas the amplitude relation between the hands did. Larger amplitudes of the passive hand relative to the active hand resulted in stronger entrainment. This dependence on relative amplitude implies that entrainment strength is not only based on the intensity of afferent signals generated in the entraining limb but also on the susceptibility of the entrained limb to these signals.
Travis W. Beck, Terry J. Housh, Glen O. Johnson, Joseph P. Weir, Joel T. Cramer, Jared W. Coburn, and Moh H. Malek
This study compared the patterns of mechanomyographic (MMG) amplitude and mean power frequency vs. torque relationships in men and women during isometric muscle actions of the biceps brachii. Seven men (mean age 23.9 ± 3.5 yrs) and 8 women (mean 21.0 ± 1.3 yrs) performed submaximal to maximal isometric muscle actions of the dominant forearm flexors. Following determination of the isometric maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), they randomly performed submaximal step muscle actions in 10% increments from 10% to 90% MVC. Polynomial regression analyses indicated that the MMG amplitude vs. isometric torque relationship for the men was best fit with a cubic model (R 2 = 0.983), where MMG amplitude increased slightly from 10% to 20% MVC, increased rapidly from 20% to 80% MVC, and plateaued from 80% to 100% MVC. For the women, MMG amplitude increased linearly (r 2 = 0.949) from 10% to 100% MVC. Linear models also provided the best fit for the MMG mean power frequency vs. isometric torque relationship in both the men (r 2 = 0.813) and women (r 2 = 0.578). The results demonstrated gender differences in the MMG amplitude vs. isometric torque relationship, but similar torque-related patterns for MMG mean power frequency. These findings suggested that the plateau in MMG amplitude at high levels of isometric torque production for the biceps brachii in the men, but not the women, may have been due to greater isometric torque, muscle stiffness, and/or intramuscular fluid pressure in the men, rather than to differences in motor unit activation strategies for modulating isometric torque production.
Xiaogang Hu and Karl M. Newell
This study investigated the asymmetry of bilateral interference in relation to the relative difference of force amplitude between hands and the hand dominance. In Experiment 1, one hand produced a fixed constant force of 5% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) while the other hand produced different constant forces of 5%, 20%, and 50% MVC in blocked conditions. Asymmetric interference in force amplitude alone was evident in that the hand producing the fixed low force showed a stronger interference than the hand performing the higher force. Asymmetric interference in hand dominance was also found in that more interference was observed when the nondominant left hand produced the higher force, a finding that does not support the hemisphere specialization hypothesis. Experiment 2 was performed to rule out the fixed force level interpretation compared with the low force level account and the fixed force was set at 50% MVC. The results were consistent with the findings in Experiment 1 showing asymmetric interference with force amplitude rather than with fixed force level. The findings revealed that without a timing constraint the task demand associated with force amplitude alone can induce the asymmetric bilateral interference. The external task asymmetry and intrinsic asymmetry of the organism interact and influence the bimanual force coordination and control patterns.
Justin W.L. Keogh, Steve Morrison, and Rod Barrett
The current study investigated the effect of 2 different types of unilateral resistance training on the postural tremor output of 19 neurologically healthy men age 70–80 yr. The strength- (n = 7) and coordination-training (n = 7) groups trained twice a week for 6 wk, performing dumbbell biceps curls, wrist flexions, and wrist extensions, while the control group (n = 5) maintained their normal activities. Changes in index-finger tremor (RMS amplitude, peak, and proportional power) and upper limb muscle coactivation were assessed during 4 postural conditions that were performed separately with the trained and untrained limbs. The 2 training groups experienced significantly greater reductions in mean RMS tremor amplitude, peak, and proportional tremor power 8–12 Hz and upper limb muscle coactivation, as well as greater increases in strength, than the control group. These results further demonstrate the benefits of resistance training for improving function in older adults.
Christopher Melton, David R. Mullineaux, Carl G. Mattacola, Scott D. Mair, and Tim L. Uhl
Dynamic shoulder motion can be captured using video capture systems, but reliability has not yet been established.
To compare the reliability of 2 systems in measuring dynamic shoulder kinematics during forward-elevation movements and to determine differences in these kinematics between healthy and injured subjects.
Reliability and cohort.
11 healthy subjects and 10 post–superior labrum anteroposterior lesion patients (SLAP).
Contrasting markers were placed at the hip, elbow, and shoulder to represent shoulder elevation and were videotaped in 2 dimensions. Subjects performed 6 repetitions of active elevation (AE) and active assisted elevation of the shoulder, and 3 trials were analyzed using Datapac (comprehensive system) and Dartfish (basic system).
Main Outcome Measures:
Amplitudes and velocities of the shoulder angle were calculated. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), standard error of measurement (SEM), and levels of agreement (LOA) were used to determine intersystem and intertrial reliability.
For AE, the amplitude maximum (ICC = .98–.99, SEM = 2–3°, LOA = −9° to 5°) and average velocity (ICC = .94–.97, SEM = 1°/s, LOA = −4° to 1°/s) indicated excellent intersystem reliability between systems. Intratrial reliability for minimum velocity was moderate for Datapac (ICC = .64, SEM = 4°/s, LOA = 7°/s) and poor for Dartfish (ICC = .52, SEM = 20°/s, LOA = 37°/s). Cohort results demonstrated for AE a greater amplitude for healthy v SLAP (139° ± 11° v 113° ± 13°; P = .001) and interaction for an average velocity increase of 2°/s in healthy and decrease of 2°/s in SLAP patients over the 3 trials (P = .02).
Reliability ranges provide the means to assess the clinical meaningfulness of results. The cohort differences are supported when the values exceed the ranges of the SEM; hence the amplitude results are meaningful. For dynamic shoulder elevation measured using video, the assessment of velocity was found to produce moderate to good reliability. The results suggest that with these measures subtle changes in both measures may be possible with further investigations.
E. Paul Zehr, Sandra R. Hundza, Jaclyn E. Balter, and Pamela M. Loadman
We used amplitude modulation of cutaneous reflexes during leg cycling as a paradigm to investigate neural control mechanisms regulating forward (FWD) and backward (BWD) rhythmic limb movement. Our prediction was a simple reversal of reflex modulation during BWD leg cycling and context-dependent reflex modulation. Cutaneous reflexes were evoked by electrical stimulation delivered to the superficial peroneal (SP) and distal tibial (TIB) nerves at the ankle. EMG recordings were collected from muscles acting at the hip, knee, and ankle. Kinematic data were also collected at these joints. Cutaneous reflexes were analyzed according to the phase of movement in which they were evoked. When functional phases (i.e., flexion or extension) of cycling were matched between FWD and BWD, background EMG and reflex modulation patterns were generally similar. The reflex patterns when compared at similar functional phases presented as a simple reversal suggesting FWD and BWD cycling are regulated by similar neural mechanisms. The general reflex regulation of limb trajectory was maintained between cycling directions in accordance with the task requirements of the movement direction.
Michelle Boling, Darin Padua, J. Troy Blackburn, Meredith Petschauer, and Christopher Hirth
Clinicians commonly attempt to facilitate vastus medialis oblique (VMO) activity by instructing patients to squeeze a ball between their knees during squatting exercises.
To determine whether VMO activation amplitude and the VMO to vastus lateralis (VL) activation ratio (VMO:VL) were altered when performing active hip adduction during a dynamic squat exercise.
Single test session.
Fifteen healthy subjects, with no history of knee pain, volunteered for this study.
Surface EMG of the VMO, VL, and hip adductor (ADD) muscles were recorded while subjects performed 10 consecutive squats against their body weight through a range of 0° to 90° of knee flexion. Subjects performed the squat exercises during two different conditions: (1) active hip adduction and (2) no hip adduction.
Main Outcome Measures:
Average VMO EMG amplitude and VMO:VL ratio were determined during the knee flexion (0° to 90°) and knee extension (90° to 0°) phases of the squat exercise.
Active hip adduction did not significantly change VMO amplitude or VMO:VL ratio during the knee flexion or knee extension phases of the dynamic squat exercise.
Based on these results, we conclude that VMO amplitude and the VMO: VL ratio are not influenced by performing active hip adduction during a dynamic squat exercise in healthy subjects.
Anand Navalgund, John A. Buford, Mathew S. Briggs, and Deborah L. Givens
Altered trunk muscle reflexes have been observed in patients with low back pain (LBP). Altered reflexes may contribute to impaired postural control, and possibly recurrence of LBP. Specific stabilization exercise (SSE) programs have been shown to decrease the risk of LBP recurrence in a select group of patients with acute, first episode LBP. It is not known if trunk muscle reflex responses improve with resolution of subacute, recurrent LBP when treated with a SSE program. A perturbation test was used to compare trunk muscle reflexes in patients with subacute, recurrent LBP, before and after 10 weeks of a SSE program and a group of matched control subjects (CNTL). The LBP group pre therapy had delayed trunk muscle reflexes compared with the CNTL group. Post therapy reflex latencies remained delayed, but amplitudes increased. Increased reflex amplitudes could limit excessive movement of the spine when perturbed; potentially helping prevent recurrence.