The purpose of this investigation was to determine the mechanomyography (MMG) and electromyography (EMG) amplitude and mean power frequency (MPF) vs. eccentric isokinetic torque relationships for the biceps brachii muscle. Nine adults (mean +/- SD age = 23.1 +/- 2.9 years) performed submaximal to maximal eccentric iso-kinetic muscle actions of the dominant forearm flexors. After determination of isokinetic peak torque (PT), the subjects randomly performed submaximal step muscle actions in 10% increments from 10 to 90% PT. Polynomial regression analyses indicated that the MMG amplitude vs. eccentric isokinetic torque relationship was best fit with a quadratic model (R2 = 0.951), where MMG amplitude increased from 10 to 60% PT and then plateaued from 60 to 100% PT. There were linear increases in MMG MPF (r2 = 0.751) and EMG amplitude (r2 = 0.988) with increases in eccentric isokinetic torque, but there was no significant change in EMG MPF from 10 to 100% PT. The results suggested that for the biceps brachii, eccentric isokinetic torque was increased to approximately 60% PT through concurrent modulation of the number of active motor units and their firing rates, whereas additional torque above 60% PT was produced only by increases in firing rates. These findings contribute to current knowledge of motor-control strategies during eccentric isokinetic muscle actions and could be useful in the design of training programs.
(C) 2006 National Strength and Conditioning Association