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February 2014 eNewsletter

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February 2014 eNewsletter

Human PhysiologyAnimal PhysiologyExercise PhysiologyNeurobiologyPsychological Physiology

Focus on Physiology Newsletter

Kinesiology and Targeted Muscle Electromyograms (EMG)


Lab written in conjunction with:
Kelly Helm PhD, Director Exercise Science, Department of Kinesiology; Amanda Ulin & Kelsey Draper, Seniors, Biology & Exercise Science, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
Jennifer Rosene PT, MS; Plymouth, NH


Kinesiology, or human kinetics, is the scientific study of human movement. Kinesiology addresses physiological, mechanical, and psychological mechanisms of body movement and mechanics. Applications of kinesiology include: biomechanics and orthopedics; strength and conditioning; sport psychology; methods of rehabilitation, such as physical and occupational therapy; and sport and exercise. Studies of human and animal motion include measures from motion tracking systems, electrophysiology of muscle and brain activity, various methods for monitoring physiological function, and other behavioral and cognitive research techniques.


One of the biggest deterrents for those wanting to start exercising is that they simply don't know where to begin. The idea of targeted muscle training is to group muscles into working “units” and target their training specifically for the group of muscles. Exercises are then tailored to work the individual muscles in the group. By measuring electromyogram (EMG) activity for each of the muscles in the group, it is easy to tell if the muscle you want to be using is the one that is actually doing the work.


The easiest way to understand muscle movements is by the motion you must make to target and work that particular muscle or muscle group. The best way to simplify all of the movement patterns is to call them "push" or "pull" movements. "Push" movements describe any motion you must make to push the weight away from your body and "pull" movements are those motions you must make to pull the weight into your body. Certain muscle groups complement one another in that they require the same "push" or "pull" movement type to target the muscle.

This lab will allow the grouping of muscles, specifically those in the hip area, and target movements to exercise those individual muscles. Recording EMG activity while doing these exercises will give immediate feedback as to whether the muscle being targeted by a specific exercise is the one that is actually being used.


Any group of three muscles can be used for this lab and appropriate exercises for the targeted muscles can be found online and by speaking to the campus athletic trainer or physical therapist.


Download the ECG Experiment:


Read only version (.zip)
Open version (iWorx users) (.zip)


LabScribe Settings Tutorial (The Settings Manager in LabScribe2 permits numerous pieces of support material to be linked to a settings file and opened automatically when the settings file is selected from the Settings menu. In LabScribe2, animations, illustrations, movies, websites, experimental write-ups, and more can be opened automatically when a settings file is opened.)


Web Resources


More information on kinesiology and targeted muscle EMG, as well as additional external physiology-related links.

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