The use of technology in sport has been growing rapidly over the last 15 years and has had a profound impact on athletes. Technology has been implemented both on the field as well as in the training room with the intention of keeping athletes ready to play at their best. Interestingly, injury rates in professional leagues has been increasing in this same time frame suggesting that current technologies may be lacking.
What is sEMG?
The human body consists of hundreds of individual muscles that control all movement and are designed to exert force or lift weight. Muscles have a large numberof fibers and depending on the amount of force they need to produce, more of them are activated. The more muscle fibers are active, the more electrical signal is generated. Simply stated, sEMG is the science of detection, recording and interpretation of the electrical activity generated by muscles during activity. Electrical activity in the muscles is measured by placing passive electrodes on the skin directly atop the muscle of interest. A signal such as the one below can then be visualized and interpreted by trained professionals.
Advances in sEMG technology
Over the last few years, sEMG technology has advanced tremendously with the advent of wireless sensors and most recently, wearable sEMG sensors. With the latter, sEMG technology is now available in all settings, in the weight room AND on the field. In addition to that, researchers are beginning to better understand the which features of the sEMG signal are informative. Athos is using information about muscular stress to assess the load incurred by individual muscles in the body as a measure of internal training load. With this, coaches can not only assess the total amount of training load that has resulted from their programming but understand specifically how that training load is distributed throughout the body.
To learn more about how sEMG can help your athletes, click here.