Jul 25, 2003

Muscle force-length dynamics during level versus incline locomotion: a comparison of in vivo performance of two guinea fowl ankle extensors

The Journal of Experimental Biology
Monica A Daley, Andrew A Biewener

Abstract

For a terrestrial animal to move in the complex natural environment, the limb muscles must modulate force and work performance to meet changing mechanical requirements; however, it is not clear whether this is accomplished via a collective shift in function by all limb muscles, or a division of labor among limb muscles. Do muscles differ in their ability to modulate force-length contractile function to meet the mechanical demands of different locomotor tasks? We explore this question by examining the in vivo force-length performance of the guinea fowl Numida meleagris lateral gastrocnemius (LG) and digital flexor-IV (DF-IV), during level and incline locomotion. During level locomotion, the LG and DF-IV exhibit differing muscle fascicle strain patterns: the LG shortens by 10-15% while developing force, whereas the DF-IV undergoes a stretch-shorten cycle with large strain amplitudes and small net strains of 1-8%. Furthermore, the DF-IV operates at higher muscle stresses (92-130 kPa, compared to 23-39 kPa for LG) and possesses a longer tendon, which allows the DF-IV tendon to recover greater elastic energy than the LG tendon. During incline locomotion, these muscles contribute only one-third of the energy expected for their mass, ...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Surface Electromyography
Ankle
Ankle Joint Structure
Science of Morphology
Flexor (Anatomical Coordinate)
Soleus Muscle Structure
Family Numididae
Locomotion
Limb Structure
Kinematics

About this Paper

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