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EMG – underwater measures

Comparison and reproducibility of sEMG during manual muscle testing on land and in water

Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 21 (2011) 95–101
W. Matthew Silversa,*, Dennis G. Dolnyba Exercise Science, Dept. of Physical Education, Health and Recreation, Eastern Washington Univ., Cheney, WA 99004-2476, USA
b Utah State Univ., HPER Dept., 7000 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322-7000, USA
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 509 359 2485; fax: +1 509 359 4833. E-mail address: msilvers@ewu.edu (W.M. Silvers).

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Keywords

MVC, EMG, Aquatic exercise, Rehabilitation

ABSTRACT

The objectives of this study were to:

  1. compare the sEMG recordings from maximal voluntary contractions (MVC), and
  2. examine the reproducibility of sEMG recordings from MVCs for selected lower extremity muscles derived from manual muscle testing (MMT) on dry land, and in water prior to and following aquatic treadmill running.

Twelve healthy recreational male runners participated.

The selected muscles were: M. quadriceps–vastus medialis (VM) and rectus femoris (RF), M. biceps femoris (BF), M. tibialis anterior (TA) and the M. gastrocnemius caput mediale (GAS) of the right leg.

The MVC testing conditions were: dry land, underwater prior to (Water 1) and following an aquatic exercise trial (Water 2).

For each muscle, a one-way analysis of variance with repeated measures was used to compare MVC scores between testing conditions, and the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and typical error (CV%) were calculated to determine the reproducibility and precision of MVC scores, respectively, between conditions.

For all muscles, no significant differences were observed between land and water MVC scores (p = 0.88–0.97), and high reliability (ICC = 0.96–0.98) and precision (CV% = 7.4–12.6%) were observed between MVC conditions. Under MMT conditions it appears that comparable MVC sEMG values were achieved on land and in water and the integrity of the EMG recordings were maintained during water immersion. Future studies using sEMG waterproofing procedures should conduct MVC testing in water for data normalization and perform post-exercise verification of sEMG signal integrity.

Published by Elsevier Ltd. – journal homepage http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jelekin

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