Mechanomyographic and electromyographic responses to repeated concentric muscle actions of the quadriceps femoris

Kyle T Ebersole, Kristian M O'Connor, Andrew P Wier
Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 2006, 16 (2): 149-57
In comparison to isometric muscle action models, little is known about the electromyographic (EMG) and mechanomyographic (MMG) amplitude and mean power frequency (MPF) responses to fatiguing dynamic muscle actions. Simultaneous examination of the EMG and MMG amplitude and MPF may provide additional insight with regard to the motor control strategies utilized by the superficial muscles of the quadriceps femoris during a concentric fatiguing task. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the EMG and MMG amplitude and MPF responses of the vastus lateralis (VL), rectus femoris (RF), and vastus medialis (VM) during repeated, concentric muscle actions of the dominant leg. Seventeen adults (21.8+/-1.7 yr) performed 50 consecutive, maximal concentric muscle actions of the dominant leg extensors on a Biodex System 3 Dynamometer at velocities of 60 degrees s(-1) and 300 degrees s(-1). Bipolar surface electrode arrangements were placed over the mid portion of the VL, RF, and VM muscles with a MMG contact sensor placed adjacent to the superior EMG electrode on each muscle. Torque, MMG and EMG amplitude and MPF values were calculated for each of the 50 repetitions. All values were normalized to the value recorded during the first repetition and then averaged across all subjects. The cubic decreases in torque at 60 degrees s(-1) (R2 = 0.972) and 300 degrees s(-1) (R2 = 0.931) was associated with a decline in torque of 59+/-24% and 53+/-11%, respectively. The muscle and velocity specific responses for the MMG amplitude and MPF demonstrated that each of the superficial muscles of the quadriceps femoris uniquely contributed to the control of force output across the 50 repetitions. These results suggested that the MMG responses for the VL, RF, VM during a fatiguing task may be influenced by a number of factors such as fiber type differences, alterations in activation strategy including motor unit recruitment and firing rate and possibly muscle wisdom.

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