Effects of motor imagery and action observation on hand grip strength, electromyographic activity and intramuscular oxygenation in the hand gripping gesture: A randomized controlled trial

Hum Mov Sci. 2018 Apr;58:119-131. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2018.01.011. Epub 2018 Mar 12.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of motor imagery and action observation combined with a hand grip strength program on the forearm muscles. Sixty subjects were selected and randomized into three groups: motor imagery (n = 20), action observation (n = 20), or a control group (n = 20). Outcome measures included hand grip strength, electromyographical activity and intramuscular oxygenation. The hand grip strength significantly increased in the motor imagery (p < .001) and action observation (p < .001) groups compared with the control group, although there were no differences between the both groups (p = .30). In the electromyographical activity, intra-group significant differences were found in motor imagery (p = .002) and action observation (p = .003) groups, although there were no differences between the both groups (p = 1.00) Intramuscular oxygenation results did not show any statistically significant differences between any of the study groups (p > .05). Our results suggest that both motor imagery and action observation training, combined with a hand grip strength program, present a significant strength gain and significant change in the strength and electromyographical activity of the forearm muscles, however no change was found in intramuscular oxygenation.

Keywords: Action observation; Electromyography; Hand grip strength; Intramuscular oxygenation; Motor imagery.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Female
  • Forearm / physiology
  • Gestures
  • Hand / physiology
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Imagination*
  • Imitative Behavior / physiology
  • Male
  • Motion Perception / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance