Influence of adiposity and fatigue on the scapular muscle recruitment order
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De La Rosa F.J.B.
Background. Several authors have indicated that excess body weight can modify the electromyographic (EMG) amplitude due to the accumulation of subcutaneous fat. This accumulation of adipose tissue around the muscle would affect the metabolic capacity during functional activities. On the other hand, some authors have not observed differences in the myoelectric manifestations of fatigue between normal weight and obese people. Furthermore, these manifestations have not been investigated regarding EMG onset latency, which indicates a pattern of muscle activation between different muscles. The objective of this study was to determine whether an increase in body weight, skinfolds, and muscle fatigue modify the trapezius and serratus anterior (SA) onset latencies and to determine the scapular muscle recruitment order in fatigue and excess body weight conditions. Methods. This cross-sectional study was carried out in a university laboratory. The participants were randomly assigned to the no-fatigue group (17 participants) or the fatigue (17 participants) group. The body mass index, skinfold thickness (axillary, pectoral, and subscapular), and percentage of body fat were measured. In addition, the onset latency of the scapular muscles [lower trapezius (LT), middle trapezius (MT), upper trapezius (UT), and SA] was assessed by surface EMG during the performance of a voluntary arm raise task. A multiple linear regression model was adjusted and analyzed for the additive combination of the variables, percentage body fat, skinfold thickness, and fatigue. The differences in onset latency between the scapular muscles were analyzed using a three-way repeated measure analysis of variance. In all the tests, an alpha level <0:05 was considered statistically significant. Results. For the MT, LT, and SA onset latencies, the body mass index was associated with a delayed onset latency when it was adjusted for the additive combination of percentage of body fat, skinfold thickness, and fatigue. Of these adjustment factors, the subscapular skinfold thickness (R2 D0:51; β D10:7; pD0:001) and fatigue (R2 D0:86; β D 95:4; p D 0:001) primarily contributed to the increase in SA onset latency. A significant muscle ×body mass index ×fatigue interaction (F D 4:182; p D 0:008) was observed. In the fatigue/excess body weight condition, the UT was activated significantly earlier than the other three scapular muscles (p<0:001) and SA activation was significantly delayed compared to LT (p<0:001). Discussion. Excess body weight, adjusted for skinfold thickness (axillary and subscapular) and fatigue, increases the onset latency of the MT, LT, and SA muscles and modifies the recruitment order of scapular muscles. In fact, the scapular stabilizing muscles (MT, LT, and SA) increase their onset latency in comparison to the UT muscle. These results were not observed when excess body weight was considered as an individual variable or when adjusted by the percentage body fat. © 2019 Mendez-Rebolledo et al.
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