Muscle control associated with isometric contraction in different joint positions

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the dependence of the surface EMG and varied internal effort due to different joint positions, and its muscle control strategies. Ten healthy subjects performed a fixed level (40% MVC measured in the neutral position) of isometric dorsiflexion and plantarflexion contraction in the ankle neutral, dorsiflexion, and plantarflexion positions. Quantitative EMG analyses with feature extraction in the time, frequency domain, as well as time-varying spectrum were employed to estimate recruitment pattern, code rating, and recruitment stationarity of activated motor units. Both RMS and median frequency of the tibial anterior (TA) and gastrocnemius (GS) were strongly dependent on foot position (p <. 001). Dominant firing rate of the TA muscle during the effort related isometric contraction was significant different with respect to ankle position (p < .05). Irrespective of ankle position, the regression slope of median frequency across time was not different from zero for both TA and GS muscles (p > .05). Identical torque exertion in different ankle positions called for considerable changes of control strategies of motor units. Possible mechanisms could be augmented excitatory central afferents and release of inhibition from Golgi tendon organs in compensation for biomechanical disadvantage in shorter muscle length.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-471
Number of pages9
JournalElectromyography and Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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