Influence of different shortening velocities preceding stretch on human triceps surae moment generation in vivo

Gianpiero De Monte, Adamantios Arampatzis

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung


The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of different shortening velocities preceding the stretch on moment generation of the triceps surae muscles and architecture of the m. gastrocnemius medialis after shortening-stretch cycles of equal magnitude in vivo. Eleven male subjects (31.6+/-5.8 years, 178.4+/-7.3cm, 80.6+/-9.6kg) performed a series of electro-stimulated (85Hz) shortening-stretch plantar flexion contractions. The shortening-stretch cycles were performed at three constant angular velocities (25, 50, 100 degrees /s) in the plantar flexion direction (shortening) and at 50 degrees /s in the dorsiflexion direction (stretching). The resultant ankle joint moments were calculated through inverse dynamics. Pennation angle and fascicle length of the m. gastrocnemius medialis at rest and during contractions were measured using ultrasonography. The corresponding ankle moments, kinematics and changes in muscle architecture were analysed at seven time intervals. An analysis of variance for repeated measurements and post hoc test with Bonferroni correction was used to check the velocity-related effects on moment enhancement (alpha=0.05). The results show an increase in pennation angles and a decrease in fascicle lengths after the shortening-stretch cycle. The ankle joint moment ratio (post to pre) was higher (p<0.01) than 1.0 indicating a moment enhancement after the shortening-stretch cycle. The found ankle joint moment enhancement was 2-5% after the shortening-stretch cycle and was independed of the shortening velocity. Furthermore, the decrease in fascicle length after the shortening-stretch cycle indicates that the moment enhancement found in the present study is underestimated at least by 1-3%. Considering that the experiments have been done at the ascending limb of the force-length curve and that force enhancement is higher at the descending and the plateau region of the force-length curve, we conclude that the moment enhancement after shortening-stretch cycle can have important physiological affects while locomotion.

ZeitschriftJournal of biomechanics
Seiten (von - bis)2272-2278
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 19.07.2008


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