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J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2013 Apr;23(2):356-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2012.11.012. Epub 2013 Jan 12.

Electromyographic, but not mechanomyographic amplitude-force relationships, distinguished differences in voluntary activation capabilities between individuals.

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Neuromechanics Laboratory, Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA.


The purpose of the present study was to examine the influence of activation capabilities on the electromyography (EMGRMS) and mechanomyography amplitude (MMGRMS)-force relationships of the vastus lateralis (VL) and rectus femoris (RF). Thirteen men (mean±SD; age=22±3 year) performed nine submaximal contractions (10-90% maximal voluntary contraction [MVC]) with the interpolated twitch technique performed during a separate contraction at 90% MVC to calculate percent voluntary activation (%VA). Nine participants with >90% VA were categorized into the high-activated group with the remaining categorized into the moderate-activated group. Slopes (b terms) were calculated from the log-transformed EMGRMS and MMGRMS-force relationships. The b terms (collapsed across the VL and RF) for the EMGRMS-force relationships were greater for the high- (1.29±0.31) than the moderate-activated (1.10±0.20) group. In contrast, there were no differences in the b terms for the MMGRMS-force relationships between the high- and moderate-activated groups. For the EMGRMS and MMGRMS-force relationships, the b terms were greater for the RF (1.38±0.30, 0.81±0.20) than the VL (1.08±0.19, 0.60±0.13) collapsed across groups. The b terms from the EMGRMS-force relationships, but not the MMGRMS-force relationships, reflected differences in %VA.

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