Purpose: The mechanomyographic (MMG) signal may be used to examine the motor control strategies used to modulate torque during various types of muscle actions. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the MMG amplitude and mean power frequency (MPF) versus torque relationships during isometric and eccentric isokinetic muscle actions.
Methods: Eleven adults (mean age ± SD = 20.8 ± 1.4 yr) volunteered to perform isometric and eccentric isokinetic leg extension muscle actions at 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, and 100% of peak torque on a Cybex 6000 dynamometer. A piezoelectric crystal contact sensor was placed on the vastus medialis to detect the MMG signal.
Results: Polynomial regression analyses indicated that for the isometric muscle actions, the relationships for MMG amplitude (r2 = 0.984) and MPF (r2 = 0.989) versus torque were linear. For the eccentric isokinetic muscle actions, the relationships for MMG amplitude (r2 = 0.580) and MPF (r2 = 0.961) versus torque were also linear.
Conclusion: The patterns for MMG amplitude and MPF may reflect the motor control strategies that modulate torque production for isometric and eccentric isokinetic muscle actions. Based on the results of this and previous studies, it appears that for the vastus medialis, torque is modulated in a similar manner for isometric, concentric, and eccentric isokinetic muscle actions. Specifically, these findings suggest that gradation of torque involves increases in recruitment and firing rate to 100% voluntary torque production.