Reliability of Surface EMG Measurements of the Quadriceps During Maximal Isometric Contractions Following Water Immersion
Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science
Background: The influence of water immersion on neuromuscular function is of importance to a number of disciplines; however, the reliability of surface electromyography (SEMG) following water immersion is not known. This study examined the reliability of SEMG amplitude during maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVICs) of the vastus lateralis following water immersion. Methods: Using a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer and in a randomized order, 12 healthy male subjects performed four MVICs at 60° knee flexion on both the dominant and nondominant kicking legs, and the SEMG was recorded. Each subject's dominant and nondominant kicking leg was then randomly assigned to have SEMG electrodes removed or covered during 15 min of water immersion (20°C–25°C). Following water immersion, subjects performed a further four MVICs. Results: Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and the relative standard error of measurement (%SEM) of SEMG amplitude showed moderate to high trial-to-trial reliability when electrodes were covered (0.93% and 2.79%) and removed (0.95% and 2.10%, respectively). Conclusions: The results of the this study indicate that SEMG amplitude of the vastus lateralis may be accurately determined during maximal voluntary contractions following water immersion if electrodes are either removed or covered with water-resistive tape during the immersion.