Changes in supramaximal M-wave amplitude at different regions of biceps brachii following eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors

Hélio V. Cabral, Kristen M. Meiburger, Liliam F. de Oliveira, Taian M. Vieira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Previous evidence from surface electromyograms (EMGs) suggests that exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) may manifest unevenly within the muscle. Here we investigated whether these regional changes were indeed associated with EIMD or if they were attributed to spurious factors often affecting EMGs. Methods Ten healthy male subjects performed 3 × 10 eccentric elbow flexions. Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), muscle soreness and ultrasound images from biceps brachii distal and proximal regions were measured immediately before (baseline) and during each of the following 4 days after the exercise. Moreover, 64 monopolar surface EMGs were detected while 10 supramaximal pulses were applied to the musculocutaneous nerve. The innervation zone (IZ), the number of electrodes detecting largest M-waves and their centroid longitudinal coordinates were assessed to characterize the spatial distribution of the M-waves amplitude. Results The MVC torque decreased (~ 25%; P < 0.001) while the perceived muscle soreness scale increased (~ 4 cm; 0 cm for no soreness and 10 cm for highest imaginable soreness; P < 0.005) across days. The echo intensity of the ultrasound images increased at 48 h (71%), 72 h (95%) and 96 h (112%) for both muscle regions (P < 0.005), while no differences between regions were observed (P = 0.136). The IZ location did not change (P = 0.283). The number of channels detecting the greatest M-waves significantly decreased (up to 10.7%; P < 0.027) and the centroid longitudinal coordinate shifted distally at 24, 48 and 72 h after EIMD (P < 0.041). Conclusion EIMD consistently changed supramaximal M-waves that were detected mainly proximally from the biceps brachii, suggesting that EIMD takes place locally within the biceps brachii.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • eccentric contraction
  • high-density surface electromyography
  • muscle damage
  • neuromuscular electrical stimulation
  • ultrasound echo intensity


Dive into the research topics of 'Changes in supramaximal M-wave amplitude at different regions of biceps brachii following eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this