Two methods have been used to produce a maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) of the superficial quadriceps femoris muscles for normalization of electromyographic (EMG) data. The purposes of this study were to compare the myoelectic activity of MVIC of manual muscle testing (MMT) versus Cybex maximal isometric testing. Eighteen normal subjects were recruited. MMT and Cybex testing for MVIC of the dominant leg were performed. EMG activities of the vastus medialis, vastus lateralis and rectus femoris were recorded during MMT and Cybex trials. EMG amplitude and median frequency obtained from the two methods (MMT and Cybex testing) were used for statistical analysis of these three muscles. Statistically, the difference in the mean of the EMG signal amplitude and median frequency between MMT and Cybex testing were not significant. Considering cost and time, MMT for MVIC technique appears to be reliable and highly valuable.
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