Power output, mechanomyographic, and electromyographic responses to maximal, concentric, isokinetic muscle actions in men and women

Joel T Cramer, Terry J Housh, Joseph P Weir, Glen O Johnson, Kyle T Ebersole, Sharon R Perry, Anthony J Bull
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2002, 16 (3): 399-408
The purpose of this study was to examine the responses of peak torque (PT), mean power output (MP), mechanomyographic (MMG) and electromyographic (EMG) amplitudes, and mean power frequencies (MPFs) of the vastus lateralis (VL), rectus femoris (RF), and vastus medialis (VM) in men and women during dynamic muscle actions. Twelve women (mean +/- SD age = 22 +/- 3 years) and 11 men (22 +/- 3 years) performed maximal, concentric, isokinetic leg extensions at velocities of 60, 120, 180, 240, and 300 degrees x s(-1) on a Cybex 6000 dynamometer. Piezoelectric MMG-recording sensors and bipolar surface EMG electrodes were placed over the VL, RF, and VM muscles. No sex-related differences were found among the velocity-related patterns for PT, MP, MMG amplitude, MMG MPF, or EMG MPF. There were, however, sex-related differences in the patterns of EMG amplitude across velocity. The results indicated similar velocity-related patterns of increase of MP and MMG amplitude for all 3 muscles and of EMG amplitude for the VL and VM in the women. Velocity-related decreases (p <or = 0.05) were found for PT and EMG MPF for the VL. EMG amplitude for all muscles in the men and for the RF in the women as well as EMG MPF for the RF and VM remained unchanged (p > 0.05) across velocity. MMG MPF increased (p < or = 0.05) only between 240 and 300 degrees x s(-1). Overall, these findings suggested that there were sex- and muscle-specific, velocity-related differences in the associations among motor unit activation strategies (EMG amplitude and MPF) and the mechanical aspects of muscular activity (MMG amplitude and MPF). With additional examination and validation, however, MMG may prove useful to practitioners for monitoring training-induced changes in muscle power output.

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