Changes in EMG signals for the muscle tibialis anterior while running barefoot or with shoes resolved by non-linearly scaled wavelets

J Biomech. 2003 Aug;36(8):1169-76. doi: 10.1016/s0021-9290(03)00086-1.


The purpose of this project was to study the EMG pattern of the tibialis anterior muscle in heel-toe running. Specifically, EMG changes in time, intensity and frequency shortly before and after heel-strike were addressed using an EMG-specific non-linearly scaled wavelets analysis. This method allowed extracting the time, intensity and frequency information inherent in the EMG signal at any time. The EMG signals of 40 male subjects were recorded for running barefoot and with shoes. The results confirmed that the pre-heel-strike EMG activities were typically seen at higher EMG frequencies (60-270Hz) while the post-heel-strike EMG activities resulted in lower frequency signals (10-90Hz). The timing of the pre-heel-strike EMG activities was not influenced by the used shoe conditions. The timing of the post-heel-strike EMG activities was significantly delayed when wearing shoes. The intensity of the pre-heel-strike muscle activity increased compared to the post-heel-strike one when wearing shoes. One can conclude that the activity of the tibialis anterior adjusts specifically to exterior conditions. The frequency shift between pre- and post heel-strike muscle activity were discussed with respect to activation of different motor units.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Ankle Joint / physiology*
  • Electromyography / methods*
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Running / physiology*
  • Shoes*
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*