Electromyographic Responses from the Vastus Medialis during Isometric Muscle Actions

C. M. Smith, T. J. Housh, T. Herda, J. M. Zuniga, C. L. Camic, H. C. Bergstrom, D. B. Smith, J. P. Weir, J. T. Cramer, E. C. Hill, K. C. Cochrane, N. D.M. Jenkins, R. J. Schmidt, G. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study examined the electromyographic (EMG) responses from the vastus medialis (VM) for electrodes placed over and away from the innervation zone (IZ) during a maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) and sustained, submaximal isometric muscle action. A linear electrode array was placed on the VM to identify the IZ and muscle fiber pennation angle during an MVIC and sustained isometric muscle action at 50% MVIC. EMG amplitude and frequency parameters were determined from 7 bipolar channels of the electrode array, including over the IZ, as well as 10 mm, 20 mm and 30 mm proximal and distal to the IZ. There were no differences between the channels for the patterns of responses for EMG amplitude or mean power frequency during the sustained, submaximal isometric muscle action; however, there were differences between channels during the MVIC. The results of the present study supported the need to standardize the placement of electrodes on the VM for the assessment of EMG amplitude and mean power frequency. Based on the current findings, it is recommended that electrode placements be distal to the IZ and aligned with the muscle fiber pennation angle during MVICs, as well as sustained, submaximal isometric muscle actions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-652
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • EMG
  • IZ
  • MVIC
  • VM
  • electrode placement
  • innervation zone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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