The Impacts of Simulated Upper Limb Loss on Quadriceps Muscle Activation

Faculty Sponsor

Brooke Starkoff


Arts and Sciences


Exercise Science

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-28-2022



Upper limb loss (ULL) can contribute to total body imbalance and instability. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of ULL on vastus lateralis and vastus medialis muscle activation. Six division I cross country runners (F=3, M=3; 19.8 yrs.) volunteered to participate in this study. Each participant completed three trials of a maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) of the left and right vastus lateralis and vastus medialis. Surface electromyography recorded muscle activation while performing an isometric leg extension. Participants then completed three trials of walking, jogging, and running 20 m under three different simulated ULL conditions (no arms bound, one arm bound, and both arms bound). Muscle activation was analyzed using the Delsys EMGWorks software. The root mean square of each MVIC was calculated and the greatest MVIC across all scores was used for normalization. A one-way repeated measures ANOVA test determined no statistically significant differences in muscle activation between conditions. These results demonstrate no impact of ULL on vastus medialis and vastus lateralis activation. Further research should be done examining the impact of ULL on sedentary individuals.

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