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Time-Frequency Analysis of Surface Electromyographic Signals During Fatiguing Isokinetic Muscle Actions

Beck, Travis W.; Stock, Matt S.; DeFreitas, Jason M.

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 7 - p 1904–1914
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318239c1e6
Original Research

Abstract: Beck, TW, Stock, MS, and DeFreitas, JM. Time-frequency analysis of surface electromyographic signals during fatiguing isokinetic muscle actions. J Strength Cond Res 26(7): 1904–1914, 2012—The purpose of this study was to use a wavelet analysis designed specifically for electromyography (EMG) signals in combination with a trend plot to examine changes in EMG intensity patterns during maximal, fatiguing isokinetic muscle actions. Eleven men (mean ± SD age = 22.4 ± 1.1 years) and 7 women (mean ± SD age = 22.7 ± 2.1 years) performed 50 consecutive maximal concentric isokinetic muscle actions of the dominant leg extensors at a velocity of 180°·s−1. During each muscle action, a bipolar surface EMG signal was detected from the vastus lateralis. All signals were then processed with a wavelet analysis designed specifically for EMG signals, which resulted in EMG intensity patterns. The patterns for each subject were then analyzed with a trend plot, which provided information regarding the changes that occurred because of fatigue. The results indicated that for all the 18 subjects, the EMG intensity patterns moved in a predictable manner in pattern space, but the changes to the patterns were different for each subject. These findings reflect the complex changes that occur in the EMG signal during fatigue. These changes cannot be characterized fully with a single amplitude and center frequency parameter and can be useful for athletes and coaches who need to track the fatigue status of individual muscles.

Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma

Address correspondence to Travis W. Beck,

© 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association