Extrapolation of time series of EMG power spectrum parameters in isometric endurance tests of trunk extensor muscles

J.H. van Dieen, P. Heijblom, H. Bunkens

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    The aim of the present study was to test the viability of using short isometric contractions of trunk extensor muscles to perform an assessment of their endurance capacity. To this aim two types of analysis were performed. First, electromyographic (EMG) mean power frequency (MPF) slopes with respect to time as estimated over shorter fixed periods were compared to slopes estimated over the full contraction period of a contraction sustained until the endurance time. Second, the relationship between MPF slope estimates as estimated over various periods and the endurance time of the muscle group was evaluated. Five subjects performed three isometric trunk endurance tests at 25%, 50% and 75% of their maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), respectively. EMG signals of the left and right multifidus, iliocostalis and longissimus muscles were continuously recorded and spectral parameters were calculated. The MPF appeared to decrease consistently during all endurance tests. The extrapolation from a MPF time series of half the estimated contraction period to the time series of the complete contraction period gave reasonable results at all force levels, when data from several electrode locations were incorporated in a single slope estimate (mean or steepst slope). The accuracy of the prediction of trunk extensor endurance on the basis of these parameters describing the MPF time series over half the estimated contraction period was satisfactory. Endurance time predictions from yet shorter periods were unreliable.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-45
    Number of pages11
    JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1998


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