Ultrasonography was used to directly measure in vivo fascicle behavior of the medial gastrocnemius (MG) and soleus (SOL) muscles while the subjects (n = 6 men) performed maximal voluntary concentric and eccentric plantar flexions at 60, 120, 180 and 240 deg/s. Fascicle shortening and lengthening velocities of MG, obtained from fascicle length changes over time, were significantly higher than those of SOL at ±120, ± 180 and +240 deg/s, possibly reflecting physiological and mechanical differences between these muscles. On the other hand, the effective fascicle shortening and lengthening velocities, defined as the velocities in the longitudinal direction of muscle belly, were not significantly different between MG and SOL. This could be due to difference in fascicle architecture and/or the existence of mechanical linkages between these muscles. Moreover, when the contribution of tendinous tissues to muscle-tendon complex length change was determined from fascicle length, pennation angle, moment arm and joint angle, it accounted for approximately 50% in both concentric and eccentric trials, but showed considerable intra-subject variations. This result quantifiably demonstrates the importance of tendinous tissues in isokinetically controlled joint movements.
ASJC Scopus subject areas