n International SportMed Journal - Lower limb muscle activation during a 40km cycling time trial : co-activation and pedalling technique : original research article

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



Knee extensors muscle activation could be optimized by a reduced activation of knee joint flexor muscles (co-activation) during fatigue. Time trial events are based on the management of energy resources by controlling muscle activation by focusing on optimizing performance and avoiding premature fatigue. Is there a reduction on muscle co-activation and variability of muscle activity during the recovery phase of pedal cycle which could influence pedalling technique and time trial performance? Cross-sectional. Eight triathletes. Maximal oxygen uptake and power output evaluation session. Cycling time trial performance session with the measurement of muscle activity by means of electromyography. Knee and ankle muscle co-activation, muscle activation variability, and muscle activation during the recovery phase of a pedal cycle. Increased variability of biceps femoris and increased recruitment of vastus lateralis at the end of the time trial. No differences found for muscle co-activation. Individual strategies regarding biceps femoris activation are suggested based on changes in muscle activation variability. Vastus lateralis showed increased activation during the recovery phase, probably as an attempt to improve power output in the propulsion phase.

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