Mechanical and morphological properties of the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit in old and young adults and their interaction with a submaximal fatiguing contraction

Lida Mademli, Adamantios Arampatzis

Publikation: Beitrag in FachzeitschriftZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungBegutachtung

Abstract

The purposes of this study were to examine (a) whether the morphological properties of the muscle gastrocnemius medialis (GM) contribute to the known enhanced muscle fatigue resistance during submaximal sustained isometric plantar flexion contraction of old compared to young adults and (b) whether a submaximal fatiguing contraction differently affects the mechanical properties of the GM tendon and aponeurosis of old and young adults. Fourteen old and 12 young male subjects performed maximal voluntary isometric plantar flexions (MVC) on a dynamometer before and after a submaximal fatiguing task (40% MVC). Moments and EMG signals from the gastrocnemius medialis and lateralis, soleus and tibialis anterior muscles were measured. The elongation of the GM tendon and aponeurosis and the morphological properties of its contractile element were examined by means of ultrasonography. The old adults showed lower maximal ankle joint moment, stiffness and fascicle length in both tested conditions. The submaximal fatiguing contraction did not affect the force-strain relationship of the GM tendon and aponeurosis of either young or old adults. The time to task failure was longer for the old adults and was strongly correlated with the fascicle length (r(2)=0.50, P<0.001). This provides evidence on that the lower ratio of the active muscle volume to muscle force for the old adults might be an additional mechanism contributing to the known age related increase in muscle fatigue resistance.

OriginalspracheEnglisch
ZeitschriftJournal of electromyography and kinesiology : official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology
Jahrgang18
Ausgabenummer1
Seiten (von - bis)89-98
Seitenumfang10
ISSN1050-6411
DOIs
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.02.2008

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