Effect of antecedent muscle tension levels on motor behavior

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Abstract

PINEL, JOHN P.J., and TERRY D. SCHULTZ. Effect of antecedent muscle tension levels on motor behavior. Med. Sci. Sports. Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 177-182, 1978.—In Experiment 1 there was an appreciable elevation in the levels of electromyographic activity recorded from the right forearm flexor of intercollegiate wrestlers prior to an important competition. With the aid of biofeedback, subjects in the second experiment maintained these same elevated levels of electromyographic activity before performing a battery of simple motor tasks. These elevated levels of antecedent muscle tension were found to disrupt hand steadiness and grip strength. Thus, the high levels of pre-competition muscle tension occurring in athletes are capable of disrupting performance. The use of biofeedback relaxation techniques in the pre-competition period may significantly improve the performance of competitive athletes hampered by particularly high levels of pre-competition muscle tension.

BIOFEEDBACK, ELECTROMYOGRAM, WRESTLING, REACTION TIME, GRIP STRENGTH, HAND STEADINESS

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