Reliability of muscular activation patterns and their alterations during incremental handcycling in able-bodied participants

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The aim of this study was to assess muscle activity patterns (MAPs) in handcycling in terms of reliability and their alterations due to increasing workload. A total of 12 able-bodied triathletes per-formed an incremental step test until subjective exhaustion in a racing handcycle that was mount-ed on an ergometer. During the test, muscular activity of 10 muscles of the upper extremity and trunk was measured using surface electromyography (sEMG). MAPs were examined by calculat-ing integrated EMG (iEMG), the onset, offset and range of activation (RoA). Parameters of MAPs were analysed using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and two-way ANOVA with repeated measures. ICCs ranged from 0.775 to 0.999 indicating ‘good’ to ‘excellent’ reliability. All muscles increased their iEMG from low to high intensity with differing effect-sizes. Several muscles showed an earlier onset and increased RoA. MAPs in handcycling are highly reliable and alterated due to increasing workload in able-bodied participants. Whereas muscular effort can be examined in a single cycle, muscle activation characteristics require at least six to ten consecutive revolu-tions to achieve ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ reliability. At high intensity, many muscles demonstrated an earlier onset and larger RoA. Future studies should validate these findings in several elite hand-cyclists and investigate all-out sprint exercises.
ZeitschriftSports biomechanics
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 04.03.2019

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ID: 3665191

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