A comparison of surface and fine wire EMG recordings of gluteus medius during selected maximum isometric voluntary contractions of the hip Academic Article uri icon


  • Electromyographic (EMG) studies into gluteus medius (GMed) typically involve surface EMG electrodes. Previous comparisons of surface and fine wire electrode recordings in other muscles during high load isometric tasks suggest that recordings between electrodes are comparable when the muscle is contracting at a high intensity, however, surface electrodes record additional activity when the muscle is contracting at a low intensity. The purpose of this study was to compare surface and fine wire recordings of GMed at high and low intensities of muscle contractions, under high load conditions (maximum voluntary isometric contractions, MVICs). Mann-Whitney U tests compared median electrode recordings during three MVIC hip actions; abduction, internal rotation and external rotation, in nine healthy adults. There were no significant differences between electrode recordings in positions that evoked a high intensity contraction (internal rotation and abduction, fine wire activity >77% MVIC; effect size, ES<0.42; p>0.277). During external rotation, the intensity of muscle activity was low (4.2% MVIC), and surface electrodes recorded additional myoelectric activity (ES=0.67, p=0.002). At low levels of muscle activity during high load isometric tasks, the use of surface electrodes may result in additional myoelectric recordings of GMed, potentially reflective of cross-talk from surrounding muscles.

publication date

  • 2014