It is important to properly attach your EMG sensors for the accurate data. There are three main things to consider when applying surface EMG sensors:
- Sensor placement
- Skin preparation
- EMG sensor attachment
EMG sensor placement is arguably the most important part of EMG data recording with electrode location and separation affecting the shape and amplitude of EMG recordings.
The placement of the EMG electrodes is heavily dependant on what you are aiming to record. In general you are aiming for the largest part muscle belly of the muscle action potential you wish to record. We recommend consulting the relevant literature for your specific requirements.
Skin preparation is important to ensure that the signal impedance is kept to a minimum. Before applying an electrode sticker you will want to shave the area the electrode is to be applied to. After shaving, it is recommended to clean the area with alcohol and allowing the alcohol to dry.
Additionally depending on your subjects and study you may find it necessary to ask your subjects to not apply lotion the day before and day of testing. You may also find it beneficial to abrade the skin surface using an abrasive tape or gel after shaving and before cleaning with alcohol.
EMG Sensor Attachment
Attachment of the sensor depends on the sensor type/s and electrodes being used.
For the ATKOS Nano electrodes I have found it useful to clip the sensor to the electrode/s before removing the adhesive backing and then applying the electrodes and sensor directly to the skin at the same time.
For the standard Atkos (and other similar wireless EMG sensors) place the electrode stickers on the skin, clip the sensors to the electrodes and attach the main body of the sensor to the
Below is an example of the lower arm and hand with the Atkos and Atkos Nano sensors attached. Note that wires are gently curved not bent and, that they are fairly close to the body.
If you are collecting sport, high impact or longer session data ensure that you are using appropriate stick on electrodes. Electrodes come in various types and some are recommended specifically for these applications. If inappropriate electrodes are used they may fall off or move before the session is finished.
For these sport, high impact or longer sessions you may also need to reinforce your electrodes and sensors to prevent them moving and creating additional movement artefact in your signal. This can be done by taping the sensors and electrodes down with strapping tape or cohesive bandage (sometimes called vet tape).