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J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2004 Oct;14(5):591-7.

Effect of ankle joint position and electrode placement on the estimation of the antagonistic moment during maximal plantarflexion.

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Institute for Biomechanics, German Sport University Cologne, Carl-Diem-Weg 6, 50933 Cologne, Germany.


During maximal efforts, antagonistic activity can significantly influence the joint moment. During maximal voluntary "isometric" contractions, certain joint rotation can not be avoided. This can influence the estimation of the antagonistic moment from the EMG activity. Our study aimed to quantify the influence on the calculated agonistic moment produced during maximal voluntary isometric plantarflexions (a) when estimating antagonistic moments at different ankle angles and (b) when placing the EMG electrodes at different portions over the m. tibialis anterior. Ten subjects performed maximal voluntary isometric plantarflexions at 90 degrees ankle angle. In order to estimate the antagonistic moment, submaximal isometric dorsiflexions were performed at various ankle angles. Moment and EMG signals from mm. triceps surae and tibialis anterior were measured. The RMS differences between plantarflexors moment calculated considering the antagonistic cocontraction estimated at the same ankle angle at which the maximal plantarflexion moment was achieved and at different ankle angles ranged from 0.10 to 2.94 Nm. The location of the electrodes led to greater RMS differences (2.35-5.18 Nm). In conclusion, an angle 10 degrees greater than the initial plantarflexion angle is enough to minimize the effect of the change in length of the m. tibialis anterior during the plantarflexion on the estimation of the plantarflexors moment. The localisation of the electrodes over the m. tibialis anterior can influence the estimation of its cocontraction during maximal plantarflexion efforts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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