View Full Version : Measuring MVC's

Katja Andersson
05-30-2000, 09:44 AM
These are all the replies I have got - Thank you. We
have been using the manual resistance of testers but
have found that our subjects are too strong and are
particularly having trouble with gastrocnemius. Any
more ideas?



previous replies:
You can use a break test (using a hand held devise).
Jtech sells them I think. But a Biodex is your best,
most reliable, bet.


If an isokinetic measuring unit is unavailable you
could use a strain gauge load cell or dynamometer. The
positions and procedures for such testing are
illustrated and described in Adapted Physical
Education book by H.H. Clark and David Clarke, he also
has an older book on Strength testing using a cable
tensiometer. He was a professor in the 50-70 at
Oregon and David was at the University of Maryland
Good luck.
Al Finch

There are several way's to measure MVC's. It depends
on what exactly you want to measure and your financial
and technical resources.

One of the cheapest ways is using a scales (like the
one in the bathroom to measure your weight). When
applying this thing cleverly you can measure a lot.
Another way is more expensive: using a MicroFET, a
hand held dynamometer this thing is very applicable in
measuring MVC, but costs about 1000 dollars. Then
there is EMG. If you can use a machine like that you
can measure MVC using the EMG signal. But then again,
this depends on what you exactly want to measure. If
you know what to measure, maybe there are other ways.

Hope this helps.
with kind regards,
Jan-Paul van Wingerden

We were faced with a similar problem of MVC testing on
location (lower extremity in skiing) without access to
resistance equipment. Our solution was to use
isometric contractions. It was quite reproducible and
satifactory for the circumstances. The details are in
the following reference:

Hintermeister, RA, DD O'Connor, CJ Dillman, CL
Suplizio, GW Lange, JR
Steadman. Muscle Activity in Slalom and Giant Slalom
Skiing. Med Sci
Sports Exer, 27(3):315-322, 1995.

Good luck!
Robert Hintermeister, PhD, FACSM

I'm not sure if you are doing isometric contractions,
but here is my two cents anyways. When I was
measuring MVICs of the quads, I had the subject
contract with the knee in full extension, allowing the
architecture and ligaments of the knee joint to
provide the resistive force. However, I found that
this method produced a lower MVIC value than when the
subject contracted against an immovable strap at 90
degrees of flexion. The lower value may not be a
problem if you are performing within subjects
comparisons and not comparing between subjects. As
for the hamstrings, you should be able to provide
enough force to hold the subjects leg stationary
during the MVIC. I cannot comment on which angle is
best, as I only tested at 90 degrees of knee flexion.
If anything is unclear(I may be too familiar
with my own protocol and might have missed some
important info), please don't hestitate to contact me.
Best of luck.

Mike Troubridge, Msc.

i dont know if this is the answer youre looking for
but . . . i recorded emg for mvc of the facial
muscles. the subject simply clenched against their own
teeth or against a load cell. would something similar
work for you. for instatnce, could your subjects push
against a stationary object, like a wall?

good luck,

Brian May

We use manual resistance of one investigator and
usually that is sufficient for our patients and
purposes. The patient is being asked to work as hard
as possible against the resistance in a specific
direction in order to elicit activity of the muscle(s)
of interest. However, we are always recording from the
other muscles simultaneously so that we get their
activity during the other movements. I hope this
helped. Ciao,

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