Why You Should Place EMG Sensors on the Muscle Belly

Updated: Jul 28

Clinicians place active electrodes over the target muscle belly (i.e., central region) to record its full voltage. Graphic adapted from MYOWARE.

Muscle belly

Compare the signal voltage from the belly with signals from distant sites. Electrodes placed near a muscle's insertion into a tendon or offset to the side reduce EMG signal strength. Likewise, placement over the wrong muscle or at an angle from the muscle belly result in misleading measurements (Sherman, 2002). Reference electrode (black) positioning is less critical since we can locate them within 6 inches of either active. Note that the color code for active electrodes varies with the manufacturer. For Thought Technology Ltd., the active electrodes are blue and yellow.

Frontales placement

For MindMedia, the active electrodes are white and red.

Trapezius placement

Summary Clinicians should place active EMG sensors over the muscle belly to record a muscle's full voltage. Learn More

References Sherman, R. (2002). Hooray! The revolution is here! (But don't stop it in its tracks). Biofeedback, 30(1), 7, 18.

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