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October 2021

EMG power spectrum analysis of first dorsal interosseous muscle in pianists

Author(s): Chuang, T. Y., Chan, R. C., Hsu, T. C.

Journal/Book: Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1999; 31: 1834-8.

Abstract: PURPOSE: Long-term piano training may induce potential biochemical and structural adaptations in hand intrinsic muscles or alter the motor strategy in the nervous systems. METHODS: This study investigated, by electromyography (EMG) and strain gauge, whether this pedagogical training is aerobic or anaerobic by nature. Changes in EMG power spectrum during incremental isometric muscle contractions before and after a sustained, fatiguing muscular performance were studied in the first dorsal interosseous muscle (FDI) of 13 female pianists and 15 sedentary controls. The maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) force of the FDI and the time needed to induce fatigue were also measured. RESULTS: During fatigue, the median frequency (MF) shifted toward the low frequencies in both groups. The MF of 50% and 25%MVC subsequent to fatigue were significantly lower than those before fatigue in the control group (104.0 +/- 45.5 Hz vs 116.7 +/- 41.4 Hz at 50%, P 0.05; 114.7 +/- 43.4 Hz vs 123.3 +/- 46.7 Hz at 25%, P 0.05). There were no significant MF changes within the pianists before and after fatigue. The root mean squares (RMS) of 50%, 25%, and 10%MVC of control subjects after fatigue were significantly higher than those before fatigue, but not in pianists. There was no difference in MF and RMS between the two groups at any level of %MVC before or after fatigue, but the pianists tended to show higher MF at each level of %MVC. Although the MVC was similar in both groups, the pianists, however, needed a much longer time to induce fatigue than controls (14.3 +/- 5.8 min vs 5.8 +/- 3.3 min, P 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: These observations are discussed in terms of the training-induced metabolic adaptations, the changes in the strategy of motor unit recruitment, and the possibility of differences in muscle fiber composition. This study indicates that piano training should not be classified as power training, rather as endurance training. Such findings may also provide information about fine motor training for athletes and other professionals.

Keyword(s): Adult. Electromyography. Female. Hand/physiology. Human. Isometric Contraction/physiology. Muscle Contraction/physiology. Muscle Fatigue/physiology. Muscle, Skeletal/physiology. Music

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