Mechanomyographic and electromyographic amplitude and frequency responses during fatiguing isokinetic muscle actions of the biceps brachii

Travis W. Beck, T. J. Housh, G. O. Johnson, J. P. Weir, J. T. Cramer, J. W. Coburn, M. H. Malek

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29 Scopus citations


The purpose of this investigation was to examine the mechanomyographic (MMG) and electromyographic (EMG) amplitude and mean power frequency (MPF) patterns during fatiguing isokinetic muscle actions of the biceps brachii. Ten adults [three women (mean ± SD age = 20 ± 2 yrs) and seven men (mean ± SD age = 23 ± 3 yrs)] volunteered to perform 50 consecutive maximal, concentric isokinetic muscle actions of the biceps brachii at 180° · s-1. The percent decline (mean ± SD) in isokinetic peak torque (PT) was 70 ± 17% and polynomial regression analyses indicated a cubic relationship (R2 = 0.994) between PT and repetition number. Both MMG amplitude and MMG MPF decreased linearly (r2 = 0.774 and 0.238, respectively) across repetitions. The results for EMG amplitude demonstrated a cubic (R2 = 0.707) pattern across repetitions, where EMG amplitude increased during repetitions 1-20, remained stable during repetitions 20-40, and increased during repetitions 40-50. There was a quadratic (R2 = 0.939) reduction in EMG MPF throughout the test. The decreases in MMG amplitude and MMG MPF may have been due to de-recruitment of fast fatiguing motor units, a reduction in muscular compliance, or the effects of "muscle wisdom". The results for EMG amplitude may have reflected nonmaximal efforts by the subjects and/or peripheral fatigue. The factor (s) determining the decrease in EMG MPF are unclear, although a reduction in muscle fiber action potential conduction velocity may have been partially responsible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-441
Number of pages11
JournalElectromyography and Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004



  • Electromyography
  • Mechanomyography
  • Muscle fatigue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)

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