Electromyographic analysis of pedaling: A review

Abstract : Although pedaling is constrained by the circular trajectory of the pedals, it is not a simple movement. This review attempts to provide an overview of the pedaling technique using an electromyographic (EMG) approach. Literature concerning the electromyographic analysis of pedaling is reviewed in an effort to make a synthesis of the available information, and to point out its relevance for researchers, clinicians and/or cycling/triathlon trainers. The first part of the review depicts methodological aspects of the EMG signal recording and processing. We show how the pattern of muscle activation during pedaling can be analyzed in terms of muscle activity level and muscle activation timing. Muscle activity level is generally quantified with root mean square or integrated EMG values. Muscle activation timing is studied by defining EMG signal onset and offset times that identify the duration of EMG bursts and, more recently, by the determination of a lag time maximizing the cross-correlation coefficient. In the second part of the review, we describe whether the patterns of the lower limb muscles activity are influenced by numerous factors affecting pedaling such as power output, pedaling rate, body position, shoe–pedal interface, training status and fatigue. Some research perspectives linked to pedaling performance are discussed throughout the manuscript and in the conclusion.
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François Hug, Sylvain Dorel. Electromyographic analysis of pedaling: A review. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, Elsevier, 2009, 19 (2), pp.182-198. ⟨10.1016/j.jelekin.2007.10.010⟩. ⟨hal-01839025⟩

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