Implementation and Evaluation of Smart Training Gear : Measuring and Visualizing Muscle Data in Real Time
During weight-lifting exercises muscles are contracted and relaxed. Muscles to the left and to the right of the center of the human body are each other's counterparts —we are symmetric in relation to the center of the body and this symmetry can be maintained if muscles are activated equally during exercises. With the help of electromyography, a technique to measure the electrical activity generated by muscles, a micro controller, bluetooth technology and a smart phone muscle activity can be measured, compared and visualized in real time. This thesis describes the development of a smart phone application to help weight lifters perform well-balanced exercises. The work is based on studies of weight lifters and experiments with electromyography sensors. Multiple sensors can be used to compare muscles' activity and the result can be a help to perform a well-balanced muscle activation. The conclusions are that the accuracy of the measurements varies mainly with two factors; muscle depth and the resistance between the sensors and the human skin—superficial muscles and low resistance provide more useful measurements than deep muscles or high resistance between the sensors and the skin. Real time muscle activity feedback can help to perform a balanced movement during an exercise, but muscle depth and the resistance between the sensors and the skin are crucial for the outcome. The visualization is represented in two ways; in real time to give direct feedback and as a ten second mean to show the activity over time.
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