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J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2003 Jun;13(3):229-38.

Muscle co-activation around the knee in drop jumping using the co-contraction index.

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Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at Serres, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Serres, Greece.


The purpose of this study was to examine the co-activation of the rectus femoris (RF) and biceps femoris (BF) during drop jumping exercises using the co-contraction index (CI). Ten trained male long jumpers performed drop jumps from 20 cm (DJ20), 40 cm (DJ40) and 60 cm (DJ60) on a force platform. Surface electromyographic (EMG) activity of the RF and BF, vertical ground reaction force data and knee joint angular displacement and angular velocities were recorded and normalized as percentage of maximum isometric values. The CI was calculated for the pre-contact, braking and propulsive phases of the jump using four methods: (1) by dividing the double integrated antagonistic activity by the sum of the RF and BF EMG; (2) by finding the amount of overlap between the linear envelopes of the agonist and antagonist muscles and dividing by the number of data points; (3) by calculating the co-contraction at any instant point of time; and (4) by dividing the BF integrated activity by the total registered muscle activity around the knee. The CI ranged from 13.03+/-9.33 to 70.80+/-25.81%, depending on the estimation method used. A two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that the CI was not affected by drop jumping height (p>0.05) while it was significantly higher (p<0.05) in the pre-contact phase compared to the braking and propulsion phases. The CI can be useful when examining muscle co-activation using EMG measurements in drop jumps. However, the conclusions on muscle co-activation depend on the equation used to estimate CI and therefore a commonly accepted method is necessary.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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