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Graham E. Caldwell, James M. Hagberg, Steve D. McCole and Li Li

Lower extremity joint moments were investigated in three cycling conditions: level seated, uphill seated and uphill standing. Based on a previous study (Caldwell, Li, McCole, & Hagberg, 1998), it was hypothesized that joint moments in the uphill standing condition would be altered in both magnitude and pattern. Eight national caliber cyclists were filmed while riding their own bicycles mounted to a computerized ergometer. Applied forces were measured with an instrumented pedal, and inverse dynamics were used to calculate joint moments. In the uphill seated condition the joint moments were similar in profile to the level seated but with a modest increase in magnitude. In the uphill standing condition the peak ankle plantarflexor moment was much larger and occurred later in the downstroke than in the seated conditions. The extensor knee moment that marked the first portion of the down-stroke for the seated trials was extended much further into the downstroke while standing, and the subsequent knee flexor moment period was of lower magnitude and shorter duration. These moment changes in the standing condition can be explained by a combination of more forward hip and knee positions, increased magnitude of pedal force, and an altered pedal force vector direction. The data support the notion of an altered contribution of both muscular and non-muscular sources to the applied pedal force. Muscle length estimates and muscle activity data from an earlier study (Li & Caldwell, 1996) support the unique roles of mono-articular muscles for energy generation and bi-articular muscles for balancing of adjacent joint moments in the control of pedal force vector direction.

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Graham E. Caldwell and Li Li

In this commentary we question whether the relationship between muscle activity and joint moments is the same for natural motor tasks as for controlled experimental situations. An important consideration in this regard is the identification of the correct electromechanical delay (EMD) for comparing EMG and joint moment data. Data from recent cycling studies are used to illustrate the importance of EMD, and how changing task constraints can alter the relation between muscle activity and joint moment balance for bi-articular antagonist pairs.

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Jason C. Gillette, Catherine A. Stevermer, Ross H. Miller, W. Brent Edwards and Charles V. Schwab

Farm youth often carry loads that are proportionally large and/or heavy, and field measurements have determined that these tasks are equivalent to industrial jobs with high injury risks. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of age, load amount, and load symmetry on lower extremity joint moments during carrying tasks. Three age groups (8–10 years, 12–14 years, adults), three load amounts (0%, 10%, 20% BW), and three load symmetry levels (unilateral large bucket, unilateral small bucket, bilateral small buckets) were tested. Inverse dynamics was used to determine maximum ankle, knee, and hip joint moments. Ankle dorsiflexion, ankle inversion, ankle eversion, knee adduction, and hip extension moments were significantly higher in 8–10 and 12–14 year olds. Ankle plantar flexion, ankle inversion, knee extension, and hip extension moments were significantly increased at 10% and 20% BW loads. Knee and hip adduction moments were significantly increased at 10% and 20% BW loads when carrying a unilateral large bucket. Of particular concern are increased ankle inversion and eversion moments for children, along with increased knee and hip adduction moments for heavy, asymmetrical carrying tasks. Carrying loads bilaterally instead of unilaterally avoided increases in knee and hip adduction moments with increased load amount.

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Dominic Thewlis, Jim Richards and Judith Bower

The aim was to investigate the effects of three anatomical frames using palpable anatomical landmarks of the knee on the net knee joint moments. The femoral epicondyles, femoral condyles, and tibial ridges were used to define the different anatomical frames and the segment end points of the distal femur and proximal tibia, which represent the origin of the tibial coordinate system. Gait data were then collected using the calibrated anatomical system technique (CAST), and the external net knee joint moments in the sagittal, coronal, and transverse planes were calculated based upon the three anatomical frames. Peak knee moments were found to be significantly different in the sagittal plane by approximately 25% (p ≤ 0.05), but no significant differences were seen in the coronal or transverse planes. Based on these findings it is important to consider the definition of anatomical frames and be aware that the use of numerous anatomical landmarks around the knee can have significant effects on knee joint moments.

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Thomas S. Buchanan, David G. Lloyd, Kurt Manal and Thor F. Besier

This paper provides an overview of forward dynamic neuromusculoskeletal modeling. The aim of such models is to estimate or predict muscle forces, joint moments, and/or joint kinematics from neural signals. This is a four-step process. In the first step, muscle activation dynamics govern the transformation from the neural signal to a measure of muscle activation—a time varying parameter between 0 and 1. In the second step, muscle contraction dynamics characterize how muscle activations are transformed into muscle forces. The third step requires a model of the musculoskeletal geometry to transform muscle forces to joint moments. Finally, the equations of motion allow joint moments to be transformed into joint movements. Each step involves complex nonlinear relationships. The focus of this paper is on the details involved in the first two steps, since these are the most challenging to the biomechanician. The global process is then explained through applications to the study of predicting isometric elbow moments and dynamic knee kinetics.

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John W. Wannop, Jay T. Worobets and Darren J. Stefanyshyn

Authors who report ground reaction force (GRF), free moment (FM), and resultant joint moments usually normalize these variables by division normalization. Normalization parameters include body weight (BW), body weight x height (BWH), and body weight x leg length (BWL). The purpose of this study was to explore the appropriateness of division normalization, power curve normalization, and offset normalization on peak GRF, FM, and resultant joint moments. Kinematic and kinetic data were collected on 98 subjects who walked at 1.2 and 1.8 m/s and ran at 3.4 and 4.0 m/s. Linear curves were best fit to the data, and regression analyses performed to test the significance of the correlations. It was found that the relationship between peak force and BW, as well as joint moments and BW, BWH, and BWL, were not always linear. After division normalization, significant correlations were still found. Power curve and offset normalization, however, were effective at normalizing all variables; therefore, when attempting to normalize GRF and joint moments, perhaps nonlinear or offset methods should be implemented.

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Kathy Jean Simpson and Barry T. Bates

The investigation of the effects of speed related changes on joint moments may be an optimal method to study injury mechanisms indirectly and to identify accommodation strategies to the varied impact and loading forces incurred during running. Four skilled long-distance runners performed eight trials at each of four target speeds (3.06, 3.57, 4.09, and 4.60 m/s). Peak joint moments about the ankle, knee, and hip and the relative and absolute times for various temporal events were evaluated. The hip moment parameters exhibited the greatest number (59.0%) of significant speed related differences (p<.05) compared to the knee (27.1%) and ankle (25.0%). Increased hip extensor moments were used to decrease the braking forces, and increased knee and hip extensor moments were used to increase the propulsive forces. Absolute times decreased significantly, although relative times were fairly consistent, suggesting that the relative timing of events was invariant within this range of running speeds.

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Richard B. Souza, Shruti Arya, Christine D. Pollard, George Salem and Kornelia Kulig

The purpose of the current investigation was to test the hypothesis that subjects with patellar tendinopathy would demonstrate altered sagittal plane joint moment contributions during hopping tasks. Fourteen subjects (7 patellar tendinopathy, 7 controls) participated. Sagittal net joint moments of the lower extremity, total support moment, and joint contributions to the total support moment were calculated while subjects hopped continuously at a self-selected frequency and at 1.67 Hz. Significant differences were observed for contributions to the total support moment (p = .022). When averaged across hopping frequencies, subjects with patellar tendinopathy demonstrated greater hip contribution (p = .030) and lesser knee contribution (p = .006) compared with the control subjects. Shifting the workload away from the knee and toward the hip may result in a detrimental increase in hip demand and potentially harmful long-term effects on the articular cartilage of the hip.

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Joseph M. Hart, J. Craig Garrison, Riann Palmieri-Smith, D. Casey Kerrigan and Christopher D. Ingersoll


Lower extremity kinetics while performing a single-leg forward jump landing may help explain gender biased risk for noncontact anterior cruciate ligament injury.


Gender comparison of lower extremity joint angles and moments.


Static groups comparison.


Motion analysis laboratory.

Patients or Other Participants:

8 male and 8 female varsity, collegiate soccer athletes.


5 single-leg landings from a 100cm forward jump.

Main Outcome Measures:

Peak and initial contact external joint moments and joint angles of the ankle, knee, and hip.


At initial heel contact, males exhibited a adduction moment whereas females exhibited a abduction moment at the hip. Females also had significantly less peak hip extension moment and significantly less peak hip internal rotation moment than males had. Females exhibited greater knee adduction and hip internal rotation angles than men did.


When decelerating from a forward jump, gender differences exist in forces acting at the hip.

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John H. Challis

Segmental moment of inertia values, which are often required to perform mechanical analyses of human movement, are commonly computed using statistical models based on cadaver data. Two sets of equations for estimating human limb moments of inertia were evaluated: linear multivariable equations and nonlinear equations. Equation coefficients for both sets of equations were determined using the cadaver data of Chandler et al. (1975). A cross-validation procedure was used to circumvent the problem of model evaluation when there is limited data with which to develop and evaluate the model. Moment of inertia values for the longitudinal axes were predicted with similar degrees of accuracy with either set of equations, while for the transverse axes the nonlinear equations were superior. An evaluation of the influence of the accuracy of moment of inertia estimates on resultant joint moments for three activities showed that the influence of these errors was generally small.