Quantifying thigh muscle co-activation during isometric knee extension contractions: Within- and between-session reliability

Dimitrios Katsavelis, A. Joseph Threlkeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Muscle co-activation around the knee is important during ambulation and balance. The wide range of methodological approaches for the quantification of co-activation index (CI) makes comparisons across studies and populations difficult. The present study determined within- and between-session reliability of different methodological approaches for the quantification of the CI of the knee extensor and flexor muscles during maximum voluntary isometric contractions (MVICs). Eight healthy volunteers participated in two repeated testing sessions. A series of knee extension MVICs of the dominant leg with concomitant torque and electromyographic (EMG) recordings were captured. CI was calculated utilizing different analytical approaches. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) showed that within-session measures displayed higher reliability (ICC. >. 0.861) and lower variability (Coefficient of variation; CV. . 24.2%). A selection of a 500. ms or larger window of RMS EMG activity around the PT delivered more reliable and less variable results than other approaches. Our findings suggest that the CI can provide a reliable measure for comparisons among conditions and is best utilized for within-session experimental designs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)502-507
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Biophysics
  • Clinical Neurology

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