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Effects of temperature and fatigue on the electromechanical delay components


Correspondence to: F. Esposito; e-mail:


Introduction: Neuromuscular activation can be influenced by both muscle temperature (Tm) and fatigue. Methods: To assess the effects of Tm and fatigue on the electromechanical delay (EMD), 15 participants performed voluntary isometric contractions of different intensities under neutral (TmN), low (TmL), and high (TmH) Tm, before and after a fatiguing exercise. During contraction, electromyogram (EMG), mechanomyogram (MMG), and force (F) were recorded from the biceps brachii muscle. The EMD and the latencies between EMG and MMG (Δt EMG-MMG, which includes the electrochemical processes of EMD) and between MMG and F (Δt MMG-F, which includes the mechanical processes of EMD) were calculated. Results: TmL increased only Δt EMG-MMG, both before and after fatigue. Fatigue lengthened EMD, Δt EMG-MMG, and Δt MMG-F under all Tm to a similar extent. Conclusions: While fatigue increased all EMD components, muscle cooling affected only the electrochemical but not the mechanical processes of EMD. Muscle Nerve, 2013