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New Wavelet Indices to Assess Muscle Fatigue during Dynamic Contractions

Authors: González-Izal M., Rodríguez-Carreño I, Mallor-Giménez F, Malanda A, Izquierdo M


The purpose of this study was to evaluate and compare new indices based on the discrete wavelet transform with another spectral parameters proposed in the literature as mean average voltage, median frequency and ratios between spectral moments applied to estimate acute exercise-induced changes in power output, i.e., to assess peripheral muscle fatigue during a dynamic fatiguing protocol. 15 trained subjects performed 5 sets consisting of 10 leg press, with 2 minutes rest between sets. Surface electromyography was recorded from vastus medialis (VM) muscle. Several surface electromyographic parameters were compared to detect peripheral muscle fatigue. These were: mean average voltage (MAV), median spectral frequency (Fmed), Dimitrov spectral index of muscle fatigue (FInsm5), as well as other five parameters obtained from the discrete wavelet transform (DWT) as ratios between different scales. The new wavelet indices achieved the best results in Pearson correlation coefficients with power output changes during acute dynamic contractions. Their regressions were significantly different from MAV and Fmed. On the other hand, they showed the highest robustness in presence of additive white gaussian noise for different signal to noise ratios (SNRs). Therefore, peripheral impairments assessed by sEMG wavelet indices may be a relevant factor involved in the loss of power output after dynamic high-loading fatiguing task.

Keywords: Median Frequency, EMG, wavelet transform, muscle fatigue

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