Relationship between Knee Joint Torque, Velocity, and Muscle Activation: Considerations for Musculoskeletal Modeling

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The purpose of this study was to determine if the Hill model, used to describe the force-velocity relationship for isolated tetanically stimulated muscle, could be modified and used to describe the torque-velocity behavior of the knee for maximally and submaximally stimulated quadriceps and hamstrings muscles. Fourteen subjects performed both knee flexion and extension movements at 100%, 70%, and 40% of maximum isometric effort. For each effort level, the knee was allowed to move against resistances equal to 75%, 50%, 25%, and 0% of the specified effort level. An electrogoniometer quantified knee angle. Knee velocity was determined by numerically differentiating the joint angle data. Torque-velocity-activation (or effort level) data were determined for each trial. Model parameters were determined to give the best fit to the data for each subject. Average parameter values were determined for each gender and for the entire group. The modified Hill-type model accurately described the relationship between torque, velocity, and muscle activation level for subject-specific parameters but not for parameters averaged across genders or the entire group.

David Hawkins is with the Department of Exercise Science, Biomedical Engineering Graduate Group, University of California, Davis CA 95616. Mark Smeulders is with the Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Department of Exercise Physiology, Vrije University, Amsterdam.

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