Relationship Between Knee Extensors Power Output and Vastus Lateralis EMG Activation in Elderly Women: Influence of Mother Wavelet Selection

João Pedro Pinho1, *, Bruno Mezêncio1, Desidério Cano Porras2, Julio Cerca Serrão1, Alberto Carlos Amadio1
1 Laboratory of Biomechanics, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
2 Department of Physical Therapy, School of Medicine, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil

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© 2017 Pinho et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Physical Therapy, School of Physical Education and Sports, University of São Paulo., Av. Prof. Mello Moraes, 65 - Cidade Universitária, CEP: 05508-030 - São Paulo – SP, Brazil; Tel: +551130913184; Fax: +551130913184; E-mails:,



The main objective of this study was to compare frequency parameters produced by six mother wavelets pinpointing the most feasible to investigate electromyographic (EMG) parameters while producing knee extension power in elderly women. The influence of different load conditions in mother wavelet selection and power output were also analyzed.


Thirteen sedentary elderly women (69.3 ± 4.1 years) took part in the study. Participants executed 6 repetitions of 3 load condition (30%, 50% and 70% of the maximal) with the concentric phase of the knee extension movement as quickly as possible. Kinematic data obtained by video analysis, an anthropometric model and Newtonian mechanics were used to calculate knee extensors’ power. A continuous wavelet analysis was used as a time-frequency transformation strategy of vastus lateralis and biceps femoris EMG data and six different mother wavelets were selected: Morlet; 4th, 8th and 44th order Daubechie, 4th order Coiflet and 5th order Symlet.


44th order Daubechie showed the highest maximal cross correlation value and no differences were seen between different mother wavelets and cross correlation at zero lag and in the lag variable. Although increased knee extensors peak power at higher loads were seen, no differences in vastus lateralis or biceps femoris root mean square values were obtained.


44th order Daubechie mother wavelet was pinpointed as the most suitable to obtain EMG time-frequency parameters. We have also seen that different load conditions do not seem to have an influence on mother wavelet selection.

Keywords: EMG, Functional capacity, Older adults, Quadriceps power output, Senescence, Wavelet analysis.