Heise, Gary D.
Smith, Jeremy D.
Stewart, Laura K.
Holighi, Khalil Shafie
Sport and Exercise Science
University of Northern Colorado
Type of Resources
Place of Publication
University of Northern Colorado
Running economy (RE) has previously been shown to be associated with endurance running performance. Neuromuscular characteristics, such as the activity of lower-extremity biarticular muscles during stance, have shown both positive and negative relationships with RE. That is, a positive relationship would indicate as there is more muscular excitation, more oxygen would be used for running, leading to a performance detriment. These conflicting relationships with neuromuscular activity have used two separate electromyographic (EMG) analyses, as there is no gold standard for the processing of EMG data. The first study was performed in order to compare the EMG analysis methods of each of the previous two studies using a common dataset. The results generally confirm that there is a negative relationship between RE and muscular activity of biarticular muscles during stance. Women and men showed differing results. When considered separately, women showed mostly negative associations, while men showed both negative and positive associations between RE and muscular activity. It is recommended that women and men be studied independently when considering the relationship between RE and muscular activity. Young runners showed negative associations between RE and muscular activations while older runners showed positive associations. This should be considered in future research as well. The second study compared two, more novel, methods of EMG analysis techniques and muscular activity durations during stance. These methods were the Teager-Kaiser Energy Operator conditioner (TKEO) and the Approximated Generalized Likelihood-Ratio (AGLR) step processing. The novelty of the study is using these methods to analyze running gait data, as opposed to isometric activity or walking gait data. There was a difference using these two methods in identifying the on -set of muscular activity which lead to different durations of muscular activity, with TKEO conditioning producing longer durations. Overall, the results of these two studies indicate that EMG processing techniques influence the results of the study as the same data set was used with four different methods of processing, producing four different results. Exploring the muscular activity durations produced by the four EMG data processing techniques, there were differences between the four methods in the relationship of the determined duration of muscular activity and RE. It is recommended to consider the effects of the specific EMG processing technique when using EMG data in an investigation. In addition, the four methods produced different degrees of the relationship between RE and the muscular activity. Most significant (p ≤ .05) and trending (p ≤ .10) relationships between RE and muscular activity were negative, although few were positive. Again, women and men showed different relationships with RE and muscular activity than each other. Future studies should take into account the method of EMG analysis to be used, as well as whether it is necessary to study women and men, young and old participants separately.
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