Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
ARTICLE IN PRESS
Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology xxx (2008) xxx–xxx
A maximal isokinetic pedalling exercise for EMG
normalization in cycling
Eneko Fernández-Peña a,b, Francesco Lucertini a, Massimiliano Ditroilo a,b,*
a Istituto di Ricerca sull’AttivitàMotoria, Universitàdegli Studi di Urbino ‘‘Carlo Bo”, Via I Maggetti, 26/2, 61029 Urbino, Italy
bScuola Regionale dello Sport – Coni, Comitato Regionale Marchigiano, Ancona, Italy
Received 26 April 2007; received in revised form 27 November 2007; accepted 27 November 2007
An isometric maximal voluntary contraction (iMVC) is mostly used for the purpose of EMG normalization, a procedure described in
the scientific literature in order to compare muscle activity among different muscles and subjects. However, the use of iMVC has certain
limitations. The aims of the present study were therefore to propose a new method for the purpose of EMG amplitude normalization in
cycling and assess its reliability. Twenty-three cyclists performed 10 trials of a maximal isokinetic protocol (MIP) on a cycle ergometer,
then another four sub-maximal trials, whilst the EMG activity of four lower limbs muscles was registered. During the 10 trials power
output (CV = 2.19) and EMG activity (CV between 4.46 and 8.70) were quite steady. Furthermore, their maximal values were reached
within the 4th trial. In sub-maximal protocol EMG activity exhibited an increase as a function of exercise intensity.
MIP entails a maximal dynamic contraction of the muscles involved in the pedalling action and the normalization session is
performed under the same biomechanical conditions as the following test session. Thus, it is highly cycling-specific.
MIP has good logical validity and within-subject reproducibility. Three trials are enough for the purpose of EMG normalization in
2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Surface electromyography; Maximal dynamic exercise; Sub-maximal dynamic e