The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between muscle architecture of the triceps brachii (TB) and joint performance during concentric elbow extensions. Twenty-two men performed maximal isometric and concentric elbow extensions against various loads. Joint torque and angular velocity during concentric contractions were measured, and joint power was calculated. Muscle length, cross-sectional areas, and volume of TB were measured from magnetic resonance images. Pennation angle (PA) of TB at rest was determined by ultrasonography. The PA was significantly correlated with the maximal isometric torque (r = .471), but not to the torque normalized by muscle volume (r = .312). A significant correlation was found between PA and the angular velocity at 0 kg load (r = .563), even when the angular velocity was normalized by the muscle length (r = .536). The PA was significantly correlated with the maximal joint power (r = .519), but not with the power normalized by muscle volume (r = .393). These results suggest that PA has a positive influence on the muscle shortening velocity during an unloaded movement, but does not have a significant influence on the maximum power generation in untrained men.
Taku Wakahara (Corresponding Author) is now with the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, Doshisha University, Kyotanabe, Kyoto, Japan. Yasuo Kawakami and Toshimasa Yanai are with the Faculty of Sport Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan. Hiroaki Kanehisa and Tetsuo Fukunaga are with the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Kanoya, Kagoshima, Japan.