Electromyography is a commonly used method to determine relative effort and neuromuscular drive to skeletal muscle. A limitation of the interpretation of EMG within the literature is the many methods used to determine the intensity of muscle activation. In the current study, ten healthy young adults performed a level walking task while EMG was recorded from the tibialis anterior, medial gastrocnemius and fibularis longus. The EMG data were rectified and smoothed using the root mean squared (RMS). Peak RMS (pRMS), mean RMS (mRMS) and integrated EMG (iEMG) were normalized to the peak value within the subject and were used to determine EMG amplitude. A 3x3 repeated measures analysis of variance was used to determine significant differences between the methods of determining EMG amplitude. The findings of the current study show that pRMS produced significantly lower EMG amplitudes than mRMS or iEMG values. Furthermore, mRMS and iEMG produced nearly identical normalized EMG amplitudes. Based on the findings of this study and the components of each measurement of EMG amplitude, it is suggested to use mRMS to determine EMG amplitude.
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