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The relationship between contraction and relaxation during fatiguing isokinetic shoulder flexions. An electromyographic study

  • Jessica Elert
  • Björn Gerdle
Article

Summary

Knowledge of the strength, endurance and coordination of the shoulder muscles during dynamic contractions in healthy women would contribute to the understanding of symptoms in that part of the body in patients with myalgia. Twenty clinically healthy women performed single maximal forward shoulder flexions at four different angular velocities (0.57–3.14 rad·s−1). The same subjects also took part in two endurance tests (at angular velocities of 0.57 and 2.09 rad·s−1, respectively) consisting of 150 repeated maximal shoulder flexions. Electromyographic activity (EMG) was registered from four shoulder flexors using surface electrodes. Work was used as the mechanical variable. During the endurance tests subjects rated their perception of fatigue in the shoulder muscles. Work and the amplitude of the EMG signals decreased with angular velocity. The mean power frequency of the EMG was constant in the span of angular velocities investigated. During the endurance tests, work and the mean power frequency decreased during the initial 40–60 contractions followed by stable levels. The relative work level was higher at 2.09 than at 0.57 rad·s−1. Greater relative increases of the signal amplitudes of EMG occurred at 2.09 than at 0.57 rad·s−1. The EMG activity between the flexions (during the supposed passive extension) was higher at 2.09 than at 0.57 rad·s−1. Such a high activity was associated with a low mechanical performance at 2.09 rad·s−1. It is suggested that the initial sharp decreases in work and in mean power frequency reflect the fatiguing of the fast twitch motor units. Dynamic work consisting of continuous activity could predispose to muscle complaints.

Key words

Electromyography Fatigue Female Human Muscle 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessica Elert
    • 1
  • Björn Gerdle
    • 2
  1. 1.Work Physiology UnitNational Institute of Occupational HealthUmeåSweden
  2. 2.Department of Clinical PhysiologyUniversity of UmeåUmeåSweden

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