Real-Time Visual Biofeedback via Wearable Ultrasound Imaging Can Enhance the Muscle Contraction Training Outcome of Young Adults

Zihao Huang, Christina Z.H. Ma, Like Wang, Xiaoyun Wang, Siu Ngor Fu, Yongping Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Real-time ultrasound imaging (RUSI) can serve as visual biofeedback to train deep muscle contraction in clinical rehabilitative settings. However, its effectiveness in resistance training in sports/fitness fields remains unexplored. This article introduced a newly developed wearable RUSI system that provided visual biofeedback of muscle thickening and movement and reported its effectiveness in improving the training outcomes of muscle thickness change (%) during dynamic contraction. Twenty-five healthy young men participated and performed pec fly exercise both with and without RUSI biofeedback. Statistical analysis was conducted to examine the reliability of the measurements and the immediate effects of (a) RUSI biofeedback of muscle contraction and (b) training intensity (50 vs. 80% of 1-repetition maximum [1RM]) on the pectoralis major (PMaj) thickness change measured by ultrasound images. In addition to significantly high inter-contraction reliability (ICC3,1 > 0.97), we observed significantly increased PMaj thickness change for both training intensities upon receiving biofeedback in subjects, compared with without biofeedback (p < 0.001). We also observed significantly larger PMaj thickness change at 80% of 1RM compared with 50% of 1RM (p = 0.023). The provision of visual biofeedback using RUSI significantly enlarged the magnitude of PMaj thickness change during pec fly exercises, potentially indicating that RUSI biofeedback could improve the ability of targeted muscle contraction of PMaj in healthy young adults. To our knowledge, this study has pioneered in applying RUSI as a form of biofeedback during weight training and observed positive effectiveness. Future iterations of the technique will benefit more subject groups, such as athletes and patients with neuromuscular disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-947
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • Fitness training
  • Neuromuscular training
  • Pectoralis major
  • Resistance training
  • Ultrasound biofeedback
  • Ultrasound-imaging biofeedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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