Inter- and intra-session reliability of muscle activity patterns during cycling

S A Jobson, J Hopker, M Arkesteijn, L Passfield

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    23 Citations (SciVal)


    The aim of this study was to determine the inter- and intra-session reliability of the temporal and magnitude components of activity in eight muscles considered important for the leg cycling action. On three separate occasions, 13 male non-cyclists and 11 male cyclists completed 6min of cycling at 135, 150, and 165W. Cyclists completed two additional 6-min bouts at 215 and 265W. Surface electromyography was used to record the electrical activity of tibialis anterior, soleus, gastrocnemius medialis, gastrocnemius lateralis, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, rectus femoris, and gluteus maximus. There were no differences (P>0.05) in the muscle activity onset and offset or in the iEMG of any muscles between visits. There were also no differences (P>0.05) between cyclists and non-cyclists in the variability of these parameters. Overall, standard error of measurement (SEM) and intra-class correlation analyses suggested similar reliability of both inter- and intra-session muscle activity onset and offset. The SEM of activity onset in tibialis anterior and activity offset in soleus, gastrocnemius lateralis and rectus femoris was markedly higher than in the other muscles. Intra-session iEMG was reliable (coefficient of variation (CV)=5.3-13.5%, across all muscles), though a CV range of 15.8-43.1% identified low inter-session iEMG reliability. During submaximal cycling, the temporal components of muscle activity exhibit similar intra- and inter-session reliability. The magnitude component of muscle activity is reliable on an intra-session basis, but not on an inter-session basis.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)230-7
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • EMG
    • Variability
    • Submaximal cycling


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