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Muscular Coordination of Biceps Brachii and Brachioradialis in Elbow Flexion With Respect to Hand Position


Muscular Coordination of Biceps Brachii and Brachioradialis in Elbow Flexion With Respect to Hand Position

Tim Kleiber et al. Front Physiol.


Contribution of synergistic muscles toward specific movements over multi joint systems may change with varying position of distal or proximal joints. Purpose of this study is to reveal the relationship of muscular coordination of brachioradialis and biceps brachii during elbow flexion with respect to hand position and biomechanical advantages and disadvantages of biceps brachii. A group of 16 healthy subjects has been advised to perform 20 repetitions of single elbow flexion movements in different hand positions (pronated, neutral, and supinated). With a speed of 20°/s, simultaneously sEMG of biceps brachii and brachioradialis and kinematics of the movement were recorded in a motion analysis laboratory. Normalized to MVC the sEMG amplitudes of both muscles contributing to elbow flexion movements were compared in pronated, supinated, and neutral hand position over elbow joint angle. Significant differences in the contribution of brachioradialis were found in pronated hand position compared to supinated and neutral hand position while the muscular activity of biceps brachii shows no significant changes in any hand position. In conclusion, a statistical significant dependency of the inter-muscular coordination between biceps brachii and brachioradialis during elbow flexion with respect to hand position has been observed depending on a biomechanical disadvantage of biceps brachii.

Keywords: elbow flexor; inter-muscular coordination; muscular activation; pronation; sEMG; supination.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Full marker setup for kinematic analysis of upper extremity including joint marker of acromion (a), elbow joint (b) and wrist (c) as well as marker triplets on the segments thorax (d), upper arm (e), forearm (f), and hand (g). Bipolar sEMG electrode placement including pre-amplifier with blue LEDs of biceps brachii (h) and brachioradialis (i).
Figure 2
Figure 2
Mean (solid lines) and standard deviation (dashed lines) of the muscular activity of biceps brachii and brachioradialis from all subjects during elbow flexion in (A) neutral, (B) pronated, and (C) supinated hand position.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Stepwise mean normalized sEMG amplitude of brachioradialis in three different hand positions in intervals of 25° of elbow flexion joint angle showing statistical significant differences in pronated hand position in comparison to neutral and supinated hand position.

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