In vivo specific tension of the human quadriceps femoris muscle
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Colleges, School and Institutes
It is not known to what extent the inter-individual variation in human muscle strength is explicable by differences in specific tension. To investigate this, a comprehensive approach was used to determine in vivo specific tension of the quadriceps femoris (QF) muscle (Method 1). Since this is a protracted technique, a simpler procedure was also developed to accurately estimate QF specific tension (Method 2). Method 1 comprised calculating patellar tendon force (F (t)) in 27 young, untrained males, by correcting maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) for antagonist co-activation, voluntary activation and moment arm length. For each component muscle, the physiological cross-sectional area (PCSA) was calculated as volume divided by fascicle length during MVC. Dividing F (t) by the sum of the four PCSAs (each multiplied by the cosine of its pennation angle during MVC) provided QF specific tension. Method 2 was a simplification of Method 1, where QF specific tension was estimated from a single anatomical CSA and vastus lateralis muscle geometry. Using Method 1, the variability in MVC (18%) and specific tension (16%) was similar. Specific tension from Method 1 (30 +/- A 5 N cm(-2)) was similar to and correlated with that of Method 2 (29 +/- A 5 N cm(-2); R (2) = 0.67; P <0.05). In conclusion, most of the inter-individual variability in MVC torque remains largely unexplained. Furthermore, a simple method of estimating QF specific tension provided similar values to the comprehensive approach, thereby enabling accurate estimations of QF specific tension where time and resources are limited.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||European Journal of Applied Physiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2009|
- Quadriceps femoris, PCSA, Muscle architecture, Inter-individual variability, Specific tension