View Full Version : summary: EMG in the water

Dave Luedtke
04-18-1995, 04:13 AM
This is a summary of the early March request for information on work done
with EMG in the water. One of my students is looking at gathering information
on shoulder muscle activity in and out of the water for rehab purposes. Many
thanks to all who contributed. The information has been very helpful.

from: sigg@ithaca.edu
Try contacting Dr. Chuck Armstrong at carmstr@uoft02.utoledo.edu. He was
my advisor at University of toledo and I think he helped the ex. phys.
people set up a study looking at surface EMG while in the pool.

from: Luis Mochizuki acamadio@cat.ccs.usp.br
A friend of mine will try to measure the EMG activity in some kind of water
exeercise. We will use surface EMG and a very long wire to connect to the
amplifier. Our problem is how to be sure that the electrode will be in
contact with the skin. Sorry but we don't have any references yet.

from: Brian Bergemann bwbergemann@ussa-sport.ussa.edu
Greetings: I was the advisor to Inge Renner who did her Master's thesis
on the skulling action of the crawl stroke. We used 16mm cinematography
from two directions, one from an underwater window and the other from a
plexiglass periscope I made. This thesis was finished in 1976 or 1977 at
Washington State U. You could probably get a copy from interlibrary loan
or University of Oregon Microfiche. The surface electrodes were quite
difficult to keep on. We used tape and a spray to try to seal the
surrounding area. We had many trials due to the loss of the seal, but we
were able to get enough cycles to study the interaction of the muscles
with the movement.

from: Dean Kriellaars kriel@cc.umanitoba.ca
I have conducted some EKG and EMG work underwater (in swimmers). I work
in a pilot project which was successful in recording both EKG and EMG. If
you have EMG equipment already, then the job is half done. It is best to look
after the shock hazard first (principally from dumping any line powered
equipment in the pool). The secondary shock hazard is from leakage
current thru the electrodes because the swimmer is grounded via pool
water. Both of these issues are not relevant when battery operated EMG
equipment is used.
In terms of conecting, we used a special 3M tape product to encapsulate the
electrodes and leads (waterproof). This worked very well. We used a
tethered swimming apparatus since we didn't have access to a flume. I
would be heppy to help0 more if you need it. Don't hesitate to mail.

from: Dennis Bates Dennis.Bates@sunderland.ac.uk
This is the e-mail address for a person I know in belgium. He is a close
associate of Jan Clarys who has done much work on underwater EMG in
swimming both free, tethered, and telemetred. If any one can help you
with your students' project these people can.

His name is Evert Zinzen and his e-mail is emzinzen@exan.vub.ac.be
If you write, tell him that Dr. Ged Garbutt had the idea to write him.
They are very nice people and will be willing to help you I am sure.

from: Kimberly Lovasik Innovision Systems - kimberly@innovision.win.net
Noraxon has a customer at Duke University who has done some underwater
EMG studies using the Noraxon Telemyo (telemetry) surface EMG system.
Apparently Noraxon built a special container that housed the transmitter
box (so it actually floated on the surface of the water) and had surface
leads that were specially designed in Europe. In order to keep the leads
in place, they used medical tape. We are a distributor for the Noraxon

I remember having read a review by Dietz in which some surface EMG traces
recorded under water are shown. The review is:
Dietz, V. (1992) "Neuronal control of stance and gait" In: Tutorials
in Motor Behavior II, pp. 483-99. G.E. Stelmach and J. Requin (eds.)
Elsevier Science Publishers B. V.
The original paper which this review refers to is:
Dietz, V. et. al. (1989). "Human postural reflexes and gravity - an
under water simulation." Neurosci. Lett. 106, p. 350.
This is the only work I am aware of that has used EMG recordings in the
water. I am not sure whether you will be able to find sufficient information
about the EMG technicalities in the original paper i Quoted (it looks too
short to have a detailed description of the methods). In any case, it may
be worthwhile contacting the author. I know he moved from Germany to
Switzerland, but I do not have his current address. You may try enquiring
at his old address which was:
Department of Clinical Neurology and Neuorphysiology
University of Freiburg
Hansastr. 9
D-7800 Freiburg, Germany

from: Gary Kamen - KAMEN@enga.bu.edu
I have done some recording in the water, years ago. It was facilitated
by the application of collodion over the electrodes. Collodion is a clear
viscous liquid that dries like a rubbery compound, removable with a solvent.
Good Luck!

from: Robert Hintermeister - rah@csn.org
Contact Jane Cappert at the International Center for Aquatics Research at
the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. She has done lots
of EMG with swimmers and would be able to help.

from: Dieter Rosenbaum - diro@sirius.medizin.uni-ulm.de
I just found a paper about EMG and cinematography during swimming:
Ruwe, P., Pink, M., Jobe, F.W., Perry, J., Scovazzo, M.L. "The normal
and the painful shoulders during the breaststroke. Electromyographic
and cinematographic analysis of twelve muscles." Am J Sports Med 22(6)789-
796. It should help you out.