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Spatial EMG potential distribution of biceps brachii muscle during resistance training and detraining

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We investigated the effect of resistance training and detraining on the spatial distribution pattern of surface electromyography (SEMG) of the biceps brachii.


Ten male subjects completed 6 weeks of resistance training of one arm and 8 weeks of detraining. During training and detraining periods, spatial distribution patterns of SEMG were measured and quantified with 64 two-dimensional electrodes.


MVC, muscle thickness, and SEMG amplitude of the trained arm were significantly greater than those of the untrained arm after the 6 weeks of resistance training (p < 0.05), but these differences were no longer observed after 2 months of detraining. On the other hand, no significant differences in the spatial distribution pattern of SEMG were observed between the arms.


Spatial distribution pattern of SEMG was not changed during resistance training and detraining periods. This suggests that detectable adaptations in the motor unit recruitment pattern do not occur during regular resistance training.

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Average rectified value


Biceps brachii


Surface electromyography


Maximal voluntary contraction


Motor unit


One repetition maximum,


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This research was supported by JSPS KAKENHI, a Grant-Aid for Research Activity Start-up (No. 24800071) and Japanese Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI), Cross-ministerial Strategic Innovation Promotion Program (SIP Project ID 14533567).

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Correspondence to Kohei Watanabe.

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Communicated by Nicolas Place.

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Watanabe, K., Kouzaki, M. & Moritani, T. Spatial EMG potential distribution of biceps brachii muscle during resistance training and detraining. Eur J Appl Physiol 115, 2661–2670 (2015).

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