Inevitable joint angular rotation affects muscle architecture during isometric contraction

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  • Kiros Karamanidis
  • Savvas Stafilidis
  • Gianpiero DeMonte
  • Gaspar Morey-Klapsing
  • Gert-Peter Brüggemann
  • Adamantios Arampatzis

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The purpose of this study was to quantify the influence of inevitable ankle joint motion during an isometric contraction on the measured change of the gastrocnemius medialis muscle (GM) architecture in vivo during the loading and the unloading phase. Sitting on a dynamometer subjects performed isometric maximal voluntary contractions as well as contractions induced by electrostimulation. Synchronous joint angular motion, plantarflexion moment, foot's centre of pressure and real-time ultrasonography of muscle architecture changes of the GM were obtained. During the contraction the ankle joint position altered and significantly affected the change in muscle architecture. At maximal tendon force (1094+/-323 N), the measured fascicle length overestimated the change in fascicle length due to the tendon force by 1.53 cm, while the measured pennation angle overestimated the change in pennation angle due to the tendon force by 5.5 degrees . At the same tendon force the measured fascicle length and pennation angle were significantly different between loading and unloading conditions. After correcting the values for the change in ankle joint angle no differences between the loading and the unloading phase at the same tendon force were found. Concerning the estimation of GM fascicle length-force and pennation angle-force curves during the loading and unloading phase of an isometric contraction, these findings indicate that not accounting for ankle joint motion will produce unreliable results.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of electromyography and kinesiology : official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)608-616
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2005

ID: 20384

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