Are Joint Torque Models Limited by an Assumption of Monoarticularity?

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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This study determines whether maximal voluntary ankle plantar flexor torque could be more accurately represented using a torque generator that is a function of both knee and ankle kinematics. Isovelocity and isometric ankle plantar flexor torques were measured on a single participant for knee joint angles of 111° to 169° (approximately full extension) using a Contrex MJ dynamometer. Maximal voluntary torque was represented by a 19-parameter two-joint function of ankle and knee joint angles and angular velocities with the parameters determined by minimizing a weighted root mean square difference between measured torques and the two-joint function. The weighted root mean square difference between the two-joint function and the measured torques was 10 N-m or 3% of maximum torque. The two-joint function was a more accurate representation of maximal voluntary ankle plantar flexor torques than an existing single-joint function where differences of 19% of maximum torque were found. It is concluded that when the knee is flexed by more than 40°, a two-joint representation is necessary.

Martin G.C. Lewis, Mark A. King (Corresponding Author), and Maurice R. Yeadon are with the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, U.K. Filipe Conceição is with the Sports Faculty, University of Porto, Porto Portugal.

Journal of Applied Biomechanics