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Tom G. Welter and Maarten F. Bobbert

We have investigated, in fast movements, the hypothesis that bi-articular muscles are preferentially selected to control me direction of force exerted on the environment, while mono-articular muscles are selected to control both this exerted force direction as well as the movement direction. Fourteen subjects performed ballistic arm movements involving shoulder and elbow rotations in the horizontal plane, either with or without an external force applied at the wrist. Joint torques required to counteract the external force were in the same order of magnitude as those required to overcome the inertial load during movements. EMG was recorded from mono- and bi-articular flexors and extensors of me elbow and shoulder. Signals were rectified and integrated (IREMG) over 100 ms following the first detected activity. MANOVA revealed mat, contrary to the hypothesis, IREMG of bi-articular muscles varied with movement direction just as that of the mono-articular muscles. It was concluded that the present data do not support me hypothesis mentioned above. A second finding was that movement effects on IREMG were much stronger than external force effects. This could not be explained using Hill's force-velocity relationship. It may be an indication that in the initiation of fast movements, IREMG is not only tuned to movement dynamics and muscle contractile properties, but also to me dynamics of the build up of an active state of the muscle.

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Yoann Blache, Maarten Bobbert, Sebastien Argaud, Benoit Pairot de Fontenay and Karine M. Monteil

In experiments investigating vertical squat jumping, the HAT segment is typically defined as a line drawn from the hip to some point proximally on the upper body (eg, the neck, the acromion), and the hip joint as the angle between this line and the upper legs (θUL-HAT). In reality, the hip joint is the angle between the pelvis and the upper legs (θUL-pelvis). This study aimed to estimate to what extent hip joint definition affects hip joint work in maximal squat jumping. Moreover, the initial pelvic tilt was manipulated to maximize the difference in hip joint work as a function of hip joint definition. Twenty-two male athletes performed maximum effort squat jumps in three different initial pelvic tilt conditions: backward (pelvisB), neutral (pelvisN), and forward (pelvisF). Hip joint work was calculated by integrating the hip net joint torque with respect to θUL-HAT (WUL-HAT) or with respect to θUL-pelvis (WUL-pelvis). θUL-HAT was greater than θUL-pelvis in all conditions. WUL-HAT overestimated WUL-pelvis by 33%, 39%, and 49% in conditions pelvisF, pelvisN, and pelvisB, respectively. It was concluded that θUL-pelvis should be measured when the mechanical output of hip extensor muscles is estimated.

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Fabien Dal Maso, Mickaël Begon and Maxime Raison

One approach to increasing the confidence of muscle force estimation via musculoskeletal models is to minimize the root mean square error (RMSE) between joint torques estimated from electromyographic-driven musculoskeletal models and those computed using inverse dynamics. We propose a method that reduces RMSE by selecting subsets of combinations of maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) trials that minimize RMSE. Twelve participants performed 3 elbow MVIC in flexion and in extension. An upper-limb electromyographic-driven musculoskeletal model was created to optimize maximum muscle stress and estimate the maximal isometric force of the biceps brachii, brachialis, brachioradialis, and triceps brachii. Maximal isometric forces were computed from all possible combinations of flexion-extension trials. The combinations producing the smallest RMSE significantly reduced the normalized RMSE to 7.4% compared with the combination containing all trials (9.0%). Maximal isometric forces ranged between 114–806 N, 64–409 N, 236–1511 N, and 556–3434 N for the brachii, brachialis, brachioradialis, and triceps brachii, respectively. These large variations suggest that customization is required to reduce the difference between models and actual participants’ maximal isometric force. While the smallest previously reported RMSE was 10.3%, the proposed method reduced the RMSE to 7.4%, which may increase the confidence of muscle force estimation.

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Sean P. Flanagan, Kara M. Kessans and George J. Salem

Context:

Information regarding how the mechanical demand differs with variants of the step exercise may be used by clinicians to more appropriately prescribe lower-extremity exercise.

Objective:

To quantify the joint torque contributions of the lower extremity during three different step exercises: forward step-up (FS), lateral step-up (LS), and step-down (SD).

Design:

An experiment with a repeated measures design.

Setting:

Biomechanics laboratory.

Participants:

18 healthy subjects (9 men, 9 women, age 25.67 ± 4.23 years, height 1.73 ± 0.10 meters, mass 72.73 ± 10.67 kilograms).

Intervention:

Participants performed three sets of three repetitions of each exercise while instrumented for biomechanical analysis.

Main Outcome Measure:

Mechanical effort of the hip, knee, and ankle of both limbs during each exercise.

Results:

The greatest contribution from the hip was required during the FS, while the contribution from the knee was required during the SD. The greatest contribution from the ankle was required during the LS and SD.

Conclusion:

Choice of step exercise results in different distributions of mechanical demand across the lower extremities.

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Julien Jacquier-Bret, Arnaud Faupin, Nasser Rezzoug and Philippe Gorce

The aim of this study was to propose a new index called Postural Force Production Index (PFPI) for evaluating the force production during handcycling. For a given posture, it assesses the force generation capacity in all Cartesian directions by linking the joint configuration to the effective force applied on the handgrips. Its purpose is to give insight into the force pattern of handcycling users, and could be used as ergonomic index. The PFPI is based on the force ellipsoid, which belongs to the class of manipulability indices and represents the overall force production capabilities at the hand in all Cartesian directions from unit joint torques. The kinematics and kinetics of the arm were recorded during a 1-min exercise test on a handcycle at 70 revolutions per minute performed by one paraplegic expert in handcycling. The PFPI values were compared with the Fraction Effective Force (FEF), which is classically associated with the effectiveness of force application. The results showed a correspondence in the propulsion cycle between FEF peaks and the most favorable postures to produce a force tangential to the crank rotation (PFPI). This preliminary study opens a promising way to study patterns of force production in the framework of handcycling movement analysis.

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Seong-won Han, Andrew Sawatsky, Azim Jinha and Walter Herzog

Vastus medialis (VM) weakness is thought to alter patellar tracking, thereby changing the loading of the patellofemoral joint (PFJ), resulting in patellofemoral pain. However, it is challenging to measure VM force and weakness in human studies, nor is it possible to measure the associated mechanical changes in the PFJ. To obtain fundamental insight into VM weakness and its effects on PFJ mechanics, the authors determined PFJ loading in the presence of experimentally simulated VM weakness. Skeletally mature New Zealand White rabbits were used (n = 6), and the vastus lateralis, VM, and rectus femoris were stimulated individually through 3 custom-built nerve cuff electrodes. Muscle torque and PFJ pressure distribution were measured while activating all muscles simultaneously, or when the vastus lateralis and rectus femoris were activated, while VM was not, to simulate a quadriceps muscle strength imbalance. For a given muscular joint torque, peak pressures were greater and joint contact areas were smaller when simulating VM weakness compared with the condition where all muscles were activated simultaneously. The results in the rabbit model support that VM weakness results in altered PFJ loading, which may cause patellofemoral pain, often associated with a strength imbalance of the knee extensor muscle group.

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Elena J. Caruthers, Julie A. Thompson, Ajit M.W. Chaudhari, Laura C. Schmitt, Thomas M. Best, Katherine R. Saul and Robert A. Siston

Sit-to-stand transfer is a common task that is challenging for older adults and others with musculoskeletal impairments. Associated joint torques and muscle activations have been analyzed two-dimensionally, neglecting possible three-dimensional (3D) compensatory movements in those who struggle with sit-to-stand transfer. Furthermore, how muscles accelerate an individual up and off the chair remains unclear; such knowledge could inform rehabilitation strategies. We examined muscle forces, muscleinduced accelerations, and interlimb muscle force differences during sit-to-stand transfer in young, healthy adults. Dynamic simulations were created using a custom 3D musculoskeletal model; static optimization and induced acceleration analysis were used to determine muscle forces and their induced accelerations, respectively. The gluteus maximus generated the largest force (2009.07 ± 277.31 N) and was a main contributor to forward acceleration of the center of mass (COM) (0.62 ± 0.18 m/s2), while the quadriceps opposed it. The soleus was a main contributor to upward (2.56 ± 0.74 m/s2) and forward acceleration of the COM (0.62 ± 0.33 m/s2). Interlimb muscle force differences were observed, demonstrating lower limb symmetry cannot be assumed during this task, even in healthy adults. These findings establish a baseline from which deficits and compensatory strategies in relevant populations (eg, elderly, osteoarthritis) can be identified.

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Hideyuki Ishii, Toshio Yanagiya, Hisashi Naito, Shizuo Katamoto and Takeo Maruyama

The objective of this study was to investigate the factors affecting ball velocity at the final instant of the impact phase (t 1) in full instep soccer kicking. Five experienced male university soccer players performed maximal full instep kicks for various foot impact points using a one-step approach. The kicking motions were captured two dimensionally by a high-speed camera at 2,500 fps. The theoretical equation of the ball velocity at t 1 given in the article was derived based on the impact dynamics theory. The validity of the theoretical equation was verified by comparing the theoretical relationship between the impact point and the ball velocity with the experimental one. Using this theoretical equation, the relationship between the impact point and the ball velocity was simulated. The simulation results indicated that the ball velocity is more strongly affected by the foot velocity at the initial instant of the impact phase than by other factors. The simulation results also indicated that decreasing the ankle joint reaction force during ball impact shifts the impact point that produces the greatest ball velocity to the toe side and decreasing the ankle joint torque during ball impact shifts the impact point that produces the greatest ball velocity to the ankle side.

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Akiko Imura, Yoichi Iino and Takeji Kojima

The fouetté turn in classical ballet dancing is a continuous turn with the whipping of the gesture leg and the arms and the bending and stretching of the supporting leg. The knowledge of the movement intensities of both legs for the turn would be favorable for the conditioning of the dancer’s body. The purpose of this study was to estimate the intensities. The hypothesis of this study was that the intensities were higher in the supporting leg than in the gesture leg. The joint torques of both legs were determined in the turns performed by seven experienced female classical ballet dancers with inverse dynamics using three high-speed cine cameras and a force platform. The hip abductor torque, knee extensor and plantar flexor torques of the supporting leg were estimated to be exerted up to their maximum levels and the peaks of the torques were larger than the peaks of their matching torques of the gesture leg. Thus, the hypothesis was partly supported. Training of the supporting leg rather than the gesture leg would help ballet dancers perform many revolutions of the fouetté turn continuously.

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Robert J. Neal and Barry D. Wilson

Three-dimensional kinematics and kinetics for a double pendulum model golf swing were determined for 6 subjects, who were filmed by two phase-locked Photosonics cameras. The film was digitally analyzed. Abdel-Aziz and Karara's (1971) algorithm was used to determine three-dimensional spatial coordinates for the segment endpoints. Linear kinematic and kinetic data showed similarities with previous studies. The orientation of the resultant joint force at the wrists was in the direction of motion of the club center of gravity for most of the downswing. Such an orientation of the force vector would tend to prevent wrist uncocking. Indeterminate peak angular velocities for rotations about the X axis were reported. However, these peaks were due to computational instabilities that occurred when the club was perpendicular to the YZ plane. Furthermore, the motion of the club during the downswing was found to be nonplanar. Wrist uncocking appeared to be associated with the resultant joint torque and not the resultant joint force at the wrists. Torques reported in this study were consistent with those reported by Vaughan (1981).