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Effect of Thigh-Compression Shorts on Muscle Activity and Soft-Tissue Vibration During Cycling

Hintzy, Frédérique1; Gregoire, Nicolas2; Samozino, Pierre1; Chiementin, Xavier3; Bertucci, William3; Rossi, Jérémy4

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: August 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 8 - p 2145–2152
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002402
Original Research

Hintzy, F, Gregoire, N, Samozino, P, Chiementin, X, Bertucci, W, and Rossi, J. Effect of thigh-compression shorts on muscle activity and soft-tissue vibration during cycling. J Strength Cond Res 33(8): 2145–2152, 2019—This study examined the effects of different levels of thigh compression (0, 2, 6, and 15 mm Hg) in shorts on both vibration and muscle activity of the thigh during cycling with superimposed vibrations. Twelve healthy males performed a 18-minute rectangular cycling test per shorts condition (randomized cross-over design) on a specifically designed vibrating cycloergometer. Each test was composed of 2 intensity levels (moderate then high) and 3 vibration frequencies of 18.3, 22.4, and 26.3 Hz, corresponding to cadences of 70, 85, and 100 rpm, respectively. Muscle vibrations were measured with 2 triaxial accelerometers located before and on the lower-body compression garment, to quantify, respectively, the input and output vibrations, and vastus lateralis muscle activity was measured using surface electromyography. Both vibration and electromyography signals were measured throughout the tests and quantified using root-mean-square analyses. The study showed that the use of a thigh-compression shorts at 6–15 mm Hg significantly reduced both the vibration transmissibility to the thigh and the muscle activity, with higher effect size at higher superimposed vibrations. The thigh-compression shorts garment therefore seems to be 1 way to dampen vibrations transmitted to the cyclists and then to reduce the negative consequences of these vibrations on muscles.

1Inter-University Laboratory of Human Movement Sciences, University Savoie Mont-Blanc, Le Bourget-du-Lac, France;

2Mavic SAS, Annecy, France;

3Research Group in Engineer's Sciences (GRESPI), University Reims Champagne Ardenne, Reims, France; and

4Inter-University Laboratory of Human Movement Sciences, University Lyon, UJM-Saint-Etienne, Saint Etienne, France

Address correspondence to Frédérique Hintzy,

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.