Closed chain assessment of quadriceps activation using the superimposed burst technique.J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2014 Jun; 24(3):341-7.JE
The superimposed burst technique is used to estimate quadriceps central activation ratio during a maximal voluntary isometric contraction, which is calculated from force data during an open-chain knee extension task. Assessing quadriceps activation in a closed-chain position would more closely simulate the action of the quadriceps during activity. Our aim was to determine the test-retest reliability of the quadriceps central activation ratio in the closed chain.
Twenty-two healthy, active volunteers (13M/12F; age=23.8±3; height=72.7±14.5cm; mass=175.3±9.6kg) were recruited to participate. Knee extension MVIC torque and the peak torque during a superimposed electrical stimulus delivered to the quadriceps during an MVIC were measured to estimate quadriceps CAR. Interclass correlation coefficients were used to assess test-retest reliability between sessions, and Bland-Altman plots to graphically assess agreement between sessions.
Test-retest reliability was fair for CAR (ICC2,k=0.68; P=0.005), with a mean difference of -2.8±10.3%, and limits of agreement ranging -23.1-18.1%.
CAR calculated using the superimposed burst technique is moderately reliable in a closed-chain position using technique-based instruction. Although acceptable reliability was demonstrated, wide limits of agreement suggest high variability between sessions.