We previously developed a novel technique to record surface electromyography (EMG) of the vastus intermedius (VI) in men. The purpose of the present study was to assess whether this technique can be applied to women in the same way. We measured the subcutaneous fat thickness at the site of electrode placement on VI using ultrasonography. Nine men and ten women performed isometric knee extensions at 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the maximal voluntary contraction. During the tasks, surface EMG signals were recorded from the superficial region of VI with interelectrode distances (IEDs) of 10 mm (IED-10) and 20 mm (IED-20). The subcutaneous fat thickness in women was significantly greater than in men (women: 8.7 ± 2.1 mm; men: 5.6 ± 1.6 mm, p <0.01). However, the amplitude and frequency of the EMG signal of VI at the different force levels were not affected by IEDs in either sex. These results suggest that surface EMG recording of VI with both IED-10 and IED-20 would be applicable to relatively lean women with a similar sensitivity to that in men.
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