Obtaining maximum muscle excitation for normalizing shoulder electromyography in dynamic contractions
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Muscle specific maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC) are commonly used to elicit reference amplitudes to normalize electromyographic signals (EMG). It has been questioned whether this is appropriate for normalizing EMG from dynamic contractions. This study compares EMG amplitude when shoulder muscle activity from dynamic contractions is normalized to isometric and isokinetic maximal excitation as well as a hybrid approach currently used in our laboratory. Anterior, middle and posterior deltoid, upper and lower trapezius, pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi and infraspinatus were monitored during (1) manually resisted MVICs, and (2) maximum voluntary dynamic concentric contractions (MVDC) on an isokinetic dynamometer. Dynamic contractions were performed (a) at 30°/s about the longitudinal, frontal and sagittal axes of the shoulder, and (b) during manual bi-rotation of a tilted wheel at 120°/s. EMG from the wheel task was normalized to the maximum excitation from (i) the muscle specific MVIC, (ii) from any MVIC (MVICALL), (iii) for any MVDC, (iv) from any exertion (maximum experimental excitation, MEE). Mean EMG from the wheel task was up to 45% greater when normalized to muscle specific isometric contractions (method i) than when normalized to MEE (method iv). Seventy-five percent of MEE's occurred during MVDCs. This study presents an 20 useful and effective process for obtaining the greatest excitation from the shoulder muscles when normalizing dynamic efforts.
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