Effect of knee joint angle on the neuromuscular activation of the quadriceps femoris during repetitive fatiguing contractions.J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2019 Dec; 49:102356.JE
We assessed the effect of knee joint angle on the EMG amplitude and frequency of the four individual muscles in the quadriceps femoris during repetitive fatiguing maximum voluntary contractions (MVCs). Fifteen healthy men and women performed two fatiguing tasks consisting of 40 MVCs in flexion (80°) and extension (140˚) (full extension = 180˚). Neuromuscular activation of the vastus intermedius (VI), vastus lateralis (VL), vastus medialis (VM), and rectus femoris (RF) was recorded using surface electrodes, and median frequency (MF) and root mean square (RMS) of electromyographic (EMG) signals (normalized by pre-test MVCs) were calculated. MVCs significantly decreased from the 10th to the 40th repetition in both flexion and extension. The MFs of VI and VM in flexion and that of RF flexion and extension were significantly decreased after the 10th repetition. There were no significant changes in normalized EMG amplitude in any muscles specific to knee angle. Stepwise regression analysis suggested that predictive synergistic action may occur in RF/VM and RF/VI in flexion and in RF/VM in extension. This suggest that EMG MF of RF/VM is independent, but that of RF/VI and RF/VL is dependent upon knee joint angle, which may, in part, explain joint angle-specific muscle fatigue.