Intra-session repeatability of lower limb muscles activation pattern during pedaling

Abstract : Assessment of intra-session repeatability of muscle activation pattern is of considerable relevance for research settings, especially when used to determine changes over time. However, the repeatability of lower limb muscles activation pattern during pedaling is not fully established. Thus, we tested the intra-session repeatability of the activation pattern of 10 lower limb muscles during a sub-maximal cycling exercise. Eleven triathletes participated to this study. The experimental session consisted in a reference sub-maximal cycling exercise (i.e. 150 W) performed before and after a 53-min simulated training session (mean power output = 200 ± 12 W). Repeatability of EMG patterns was assessed in terms of muscle activity level (i.e. RMS of the mean pedaling cycle and burst) and muscle activation timing (i.e. onset and offset of the EMG burst) for the 10 following lower limb muscles: gluteus maximus (GMax), semimembranosus (SM), Biceps femoris (BF), vastus medialis (VM), rectus femoris (RF), vastus lateralis (VL), gastrocnemius medianus (GM) and lateralis (GL), soleus (SOL) and tibialis anterior (TA). No significant differences concerning the muscle activation level were found between test and retest for all the muscles investigated. Only VM, SOL and TA showed significant differences in muscle activation timing parameters. Whereas ICC and SEM values confirmed this weak repeatability, cross-correlation coefficients suggest a good repeatability of the activation timing parameters for all the studied muscles. Overall, the main finding of this work is the good repeatability of the EMG pattern during pedaling both in term of muscle activity level and muscle activation timing.
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Sylvain Dorel, Antoine Couturier, François Hug. Intra-session repeatability of lower limb muscles activation pattern during pedaling. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, Elsevier, 2008, 18 (5), pp.857-865. ⟨10.1016/j.jelekin.2007.03.002⟩. ⟨hal-01838990⟩

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