Electromechanical delay in the vastus lateralis muscle during dynamic isometric contractions

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Summary

Electromechanical delay (EMD) values were obtained using a cross-correlation technique for a series of 14 repetitive submaximal dynamic isometric contractions of the vastus lateralis performed by five subjects. To avoid a phase lag, which is introduced with one-way filtering, the EMG was processed with a bi-directional application of a second-order Butterworth filter. A mean EMD value of 86 ms (SD=5.1 ms) was found. Moreover, contraction and relaxation delays were computed and compared. There was a significant difference between the contraction and relaxation delays (P<0.005). The mean contraction delay was 81.9 ms and the mean relaxation delay was 88.8 ms. Despite this significant difference, the computed contraction and relaxation delay values lie in the same range as the total phase lag, calculated with the cross-correlation technique. The magnitude of EMD values found supports the need to account for this delay when interpreting temporal aspects of patterns of intermuscular coordination.