EMG-pants in Sports: Concept Validation of Textile-integrated EMG Measurements

Aljoscha Hermann

Abstract

Background: Textile-integrated EMG measurements are attractive for professional or keen amateur athletes or can be beneficial in rehabilitation or ergonomics. There are several systems commercially available, but independent validation studies are scarce. This study validates the concept of using textile-integrated electrodes embedded in garments for EMG recordings of the thigh. Method: a self-produced prototype of EMG-pants using stainless steel electrodes was developed. 28 participants performed isometric exercises on an Isomed 2000 device. Measurements of textile-integrated electrodes were compared with measurements using standard electrodes based on the SENIAM-standard. Results: textile-integrated sensors exhibit linear behaviour and measurements are comparable to measurements with standard electrodes. Discussion: the results of this study show that textile-integrated sensors are a valid tool for measuring isometric muscle activation. For certain research topics or for use in training, the easy application and use of textile-integrated EMG may be preferable to more scientific tools. Further work is required to address the validity of EMG-pants for dynamic muscle activation.

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