Electromechanical delay in isometric actions initiated from nonresting levels

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VINT, P. F., S. P. MCLEAN, and G. M. HARRON. Electromechanical delay in isometric actions initiated from nonresting levels. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 33, No. 6, 2001, pp. 978–983. Purpose:The purpose of this study was to determine whether electromechanical delay (EMD) was associated exclusively with the onset of tension from a resting state and whether EMD remained constant across different rates of force development. Methods:Twenty-four subjects (23.9 ± 5.4 yr, 171.7 ± 7.3 cm, 72.9 ± 12.8 kg) performed isometric elbow flexion trials in the transverse plane by using the dominant arm during which isometric force data and surface EMG activity were collected. Subjects completed three trials to establish a maximal force (MF) reference. Subjects then completed trials in which pulse forces of varying magnitudes were elicited at a frequency of 1 Hz from different baseline intensities. All forces were expressed relative to MF. Three trials of the following conditions (baseline-pulse) were performed in random order: 0–25%, 25–50%, 50–75%, 0–50%, and 0–75%. EMG and force data were collected for 10 pulse cycles during these trials. EMD was defined as the temporal shift that maximized a normalized cross-correlation function. Results:EMD for a 25% pulse force developed from rest (83.5 ± 12.9 ms) was significantly longer than that developed from 25% (66.3 ± 11.5 ms) or 50% (60.6 ± 16.6 ms) baselines. EMD values were not different when force was developed from 25% and 50% baselines. EMD associated with a 25% pulse force from rest was significantly longer than 50% (70.3 ± 10.0 ms) and 75% (68.9 ± 8.7 ms) pulse forces from rest. EMD for 50% and 75% pulse forces from rest were not statistically different. Conclusion:It was concluded that EMD is present during exertions initiated from both resting and nonresting states but is reduced when exertions are initiated from non-resting states and with higher rates of force development.

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