Effect of strength training on EMG of human skeletal muscle

Acta Physiol Scand. 1976 Oct;98(2):232-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-1716.1976.tb00241.x.


The effects of an 8 weeks period of systematic progressive strength training on the EMG activity of the leg extensor muscles (vastus lateralis and rectus femoris) were investigated in 8 healthy male subjects (22-31 yrs). After training there were indications (n.s.) of a decline in integrated EMG (IEMG) during maximal isometric knee extension as well as in the IEMG vs isometric force relationship. The averaged motor unit potential (AMUP) did not demonstrate any significant changes due to the strength training regimen. In conformity with earlier findings no or only minor alterations were observed in anthropometrics, muscle enzyme activities and fibre composition. The fibre area ratio indicated a specific effect of the training stimuli on the fast twitch muscle fibres. Thus, EMG-analyses, as employed in the present study, did not provide any conclusive additional explanation as to the mechanisms behind the well established gains in muscle strength performance induced by the applied strength training program.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials*
  • Adult
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscles / anatomy & histology
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion*