Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Electromyography; Muscles -- physiology; Running


Athletes desire to succeed in their respective sport. Several training programs claim to enhance athletic performance by loading specific muscles and joints needed for increased speed, power, and strength in a sport specific manner. One such training regimen is the Frappier Acceleration® program, in which the core element involves sprinting on a treadmill at varying speeds and inclines. The purpose of this study is to describe muscle activity and joint motion while running on a treadmill at different speeds and inclines.

Eleven males between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two years of age ran on a treadmill at five different conditions at varying speeds and inclines. One of these trials consisted of the subject walking at 2.4 mph and a 0 percent grade in order to obtain a baseline for comparison of the other four trials. Surface electrodes and joint markers were used to analyze electromyographic activity of eight muscles and calculate joint angles while running. A descriptive analysis was then performed comparing the five trials.

From our results we conclude that the sprinter does adopt different strategies and muscle recruitment patterns to compensate for increases in slope. There is an increase in EMG activity in the Vastus Lateralis, Rectus Femoris, Gluteus Maximus, and Tibialis Anterior when running at 8 mph and 25 percent grade when compared to the level condition, and an increase in the EMG activity of all recorded muscles when running at 13 mph and 25 percent grade vs. level running. Examination of range of motion revealed that there was greater overall motion of the hip on the incline trials while displacements of the knee and ankle were relatively similar.