Sonomicrometry and electromyography were used to determine how surface grade influences strain and activation patterns in the biceps femoris and vastus lateralis of the rat. Muscle activity is generally present during much of stance and is most intense on an incline, intermediate on the level, and lowest on a decline, where the biceps remains inactive except at high speeds. Biceps fascicles shorten during stance, with strains ranging from 0.07-0.30 depending on individual, gait, and grade. Shortening strains vary significantly among grades (P = 0.05) and average 0.21, 0.16, and 0.14 for incline, level, and decline walking, respectively; similar trends are present during trotting and galloping. Vastus fascicles are stretched while active over the first half of stance on all grades, and then typically shorten over the second half of stance. Late-stance shortening is highest during galloping, averaging 0.14, 0.10, and 0.02 in the leading limb on incline, level, and decline surfaces, respectively. Our results suggest that modulation of strain and activation in these proximal limb muscles is important for accommodating different surface grades.
Gillis, Gary BBiewener, Andrew Aeng1F32AR-08559-01/AR/NIAMS NIH HHS/Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.Bethesda, Md. : 19852002/10/17 04:00J Appl Physiol (1985). 2002 Nov;93(5):1731-43.