We studied the mechanism for slowing surface electromyography (EMG) during fatiguing contraction using superimposed M-wave analysis. Seven healthy male subjects exerted 60% maximum voluntary contraction of isometric abductions in the left first dorsal interosseous muscle (FDI) until exhaustion. Simultaneously with voluntary contractions, the ulnar nerve was electrically stimulated at supramaximal intensity, and volitional EMG and superimposed M-waves were obtained. We examined the behavior of muscle fiber conduction velocity (MFCV) and median frequency (MDF) for both EMG, with the following results: 1) MFCV calculated from volitional EMG of FDI was about 6 m/s during 60% MVC. 2) The waveform of voluntary EMG detected from FDI slowed in all subjects during fatiguing contraction at 60% MVC, indicating fatigue had developed in the muscle. 3) As fatigue progressed, the waveform of the superimposed M-wave tended to decrease in amplitude and increase in duration. 4) As fatigue progressed, MDF and MFCV in volitional EMG decreased significantly (p<0.04) . The rate of change was larger in MDF than in MFCV (p<0.01) . 5) As fatigue progressed, MDF and MFCV in the superimposed M-wave decreased significantly (p<0.01) . The rate of change was larger in NIDF than in MFCV (p<0.05) . These results suggested that MFCV and other peripheral factors affected the slowing of volitional EMG. Elongation of the depolarization zone in muscle fiber is proposed as a peripheral factor.
Electromyographic activity of the shoulder muscle at 20 and 90°abduction (20 Abd, 90 Abd) during external rotation was investigated in seven healthy men with no history of injury or instability of the shoulder joint. Electromyography (EMG) was recorded using intramuscular fine-wire electrodes inserted into the M. Supraspinatus, M. Infraspinatus and M. Teres minor, and with bipolar surface electrodes on the middle and posterior parts of M. Deltoid anti the upper and middle parts of M. Trapezius. To compare activity in different muscles, the integrated EMG (iEMG ) activity of each muscle was normalized. M. Infraspinatus and M. Teres minor showed significantly higher activity at both the 20 Abd and 90Abd compared with the middle and posterior parts of M. Deltoid and upper parts of M. Trapezius. M. Supraspinatus, the middle and posterior parts of M. Deltoid, and upper and middle parts of M. Trapezius all showed a difference in activity level between the two positions. These findings suggest that when M. Infraspinatus and M. Teres minor contribute to external rotation as a stabilizer and prime mover, consecutively, M. Supraspinatus, the middle and posterior parts of M. Deltoid, and upper and middle parts of M. Trapezius function according to the positions. Moreover, the activity of the upper and middle parts of M. Trapezius in 90Abd should influence stabilization, adduction and upward rotation of the scapula. Therefore, we conclude that the external rotation position is closely related to shoulder muscle activity and coordination.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of short-term immobilization on the maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) force. The first dorsal interosseus (FDI) of 10 healthy male adults was immobilized for 1 week using casting tape. Atrophy of the muscle was estimated from a cross sectional view of magnetic resonance images (MRI) . To clarify the factors of a peripheral neuromuscular system contributing to the change in the MVC force, twitch force at rest was measured. The contribution of central factors was estimated from a voluntary activation (VA) index, which was obtained by the twitch interpolation method. The MRI showed no significant changes in the cross sectional area. The MVC force declined after immobilization (p<0.01), and recovered after 1 week from the termination of immobilization (p<0.01) . Both the twitch force at rest and the VA at MVC declined after immobilization (p<0.01), and recovered after 1 week (p<0.05) . The results indicate that the temporary decline of the MVC force was not accompanied by atrophy of the muscle. Furthermore the decline of the MVC was caused both by the deterioration of peripheral and central functions in the neuromuscular system. Possible factors in the peripheral and central neuromuscular systems affected by the immobilization were discussed.
The effects of fencing uniforms (U) on thermoregulatory responses were analyzed in both practical field investigation (PFI) and laboratory experiment (LE) . In PFI, six fencers (college-aged) performed regular fencing practice wearing U and wearing a short-sleeved shirt and pants (T) in summer. Rectal temperature (Tr), chest skin temperature (Tch), mask temperature (Tmk), heart rate (HR) and sweat rate (SR) were measured during fencing practice. In LE, seven male college-aged subjects performed three sessions of 20-min cycling at light intensity (250 W/m2) in a room temperature maintained at 28 WBGT (wet bulb globe temperature) . Esophageal temperature (Tes), mean skin temperature (Tsk), mean body temperature (Tb), HR, and SR were measured during exercise wearing U and in a semi-nude condition (N) . In both PFI and LE, increases in Tch, Tsk, Tb, Tes, Tr and SR were significantly (p<0.001) greater when wearing U than when wearing T and N. In PFI, the maximal value of Tr correlated significantly with the maximal values of Tch (r=0.513, p<0.001) and SR (r=0.635, p<0.001) during practice wearing U and T. In LE, positive correlations between Tsk and Tes (r=0.797, p<0.001), and between Tb and SR (r=0.658, p<0.02) were found at the end of exercise wearing U and N. In PFI, although the Tsk decreased within a few minutes of a decrease in Tmk, a significant relationship between the decrease in Tmk and Tsk or Tr was not observed during fencing practice. These results demonstrate that when wearing U, a higher skin temperature induces core temperature elevation, and higher skin and core temperatures are associated with increases in SR and HR during exercise in a hot environment. Thus, wearing light clothing during exercise, and taking off the fencing jacket and mask during rest periods would be recommended to reduce the heat stress during fencing practice in hot environments.
The squat is used for strength training of the hip and knee joint muscles. The weight to be lifted is important for multi-joint movement like a squat, because weight differences are thought to directly affect joint load. The purpose of this study is to compare the activity of eight muscles crossing the ankle, knee and hip joints during three kinds of squats with different loads (60%, 75% and 90% of 1RM) . Eight male athletes performed squats with three different loads. Variables such as net torque, power and work about the joint were calculated only during the ascending phase of each squat. At the same time, surface electrodes was placed over the eight lower extremity muscles, and %iEMG was also calculated during the ascending phase of each squat. Elector spinae and Biceps femoris muscle activity of 90% was significantly greater than at 60%. Gluteus maximus muscle activity at 90% was significantly of 75% and 60%. Mean torque and work on the hip joint increased significantly as load increased from 60% and 75% to 90%. For the knee, mean torque increased significantly from 60% to 90%. These results that a heavy weight like 90% of 1RM used in squat exercise increases the load on the hip joint extensor muscles.
Daily energy expenditure has been measured by the physical activity recording and/or the questionnaire method. Recently, the accelerometer or pedometer is used to measure daily energy expenditure. The purpose of this study was to examine validity of the pedometer with accelerometer and to compare the daily physical activity between young and older Japanese. To examine validity of the pedometer, 10 young subjects worn the pedometer (Lifecorder) on the waist and then performed the walking test. Energy expenditure was measured by the expired gas analysis during the test. Fourtythree young and 54 older subjects worn the Lifecorder on the waist during free-living condition for 14 days. The intensity of Lifecorder had a high correlation with the physical activity intensity (METs) (r=0.958, P<0.001) . In the free-living condition, daily energy expenditure was 2171±305 kcal in young and 1617±196kcal in older (P<0.001) . Total step in young was significantly higher than older (young: 9490±2359 steps ; older: 6071±2804 steps, P<0.001) . There was no significant difference in the duration of physical activities at the Lifecorder intensity 1 such as desk working, watching TV sitting on a sofa and driving a car. However, the duration more than the intensity 2 corresponding to 2.2 METs in young subjects was longer than that in older (P<0.001) . We concluded that in older subjects, not only amounts of daily energy expenditure but also intensities of daily living were lower compared to the young subjects.