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The effect of muscle-tendon unit vs. fascicle analyses on vastus lateralis force-generating capacity during constant power output cycling with variable cadence

Brennan, SF, Cresswell, AG, Farris, DJ and Lichtwark, GA (2018) The effect of muscle-tendon unit vs. fascicle analyses on vastus lateralis force-generating capacity during constant power output cycling with variable cadence. Journal of Applied Physiology, 124 (4). pp. 993-1002. ISSN 8750-7587

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Abstract

The maximum force-generating capacity of a muscle is dependent on the lengths and velocities of its contractile apparatus. Muscle-tendon unit (MTU) length changes can be estimated from joint kinematics; however, contractile element length changes are more difficult to predict during dynamic contractions. The aim of this study was to compare vastus lateralis (VL) MTU and fascicle level force-length and force-velocity relationships, and dynamic muscle function while cycling at a constant submaximal power output (2.5 W/kg) with different cadences. We hypothesized that manipulating cadence at a constant power output would not affect VL MTU shortening, but significantly affect VL fascicle shortening. Furthermore, these differences would affect the predicted force capacity of the muscle. Using an isokinetic dynamometer and B-mode ultrasound (US), we determined the force-length and force-velocity properties of the VL MTU and its fascicles. In addition, three-dimensional kinematics and kinetics of the lower limb, as well as US images of VL fascicles were collected during submaximal cycling at cadences of 40, 60, 80, and 100 rotations per minute. Ultrasound measures revealed a significant increase in fascicle shortening as cadence decreased (84% increase across all conditions, P < 0.01), whereas there were no significant differences in MTU lengths across any of the cycling conditions (maximum of 6%). The MTU analysis resulted in greater predicted force capacity across all conditions relative to the force-velocity relationship (P < 0.01). These results reinforce the need to determine muscle mechanics in terms of separate contractile element and connective tissue length changes during isokinetic contractions, as well as dynamic movements like cycling.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 06 Biological Sciences, 11 Medical and Health Sciences
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: American Physiological Society
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2019 12:47
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2019 12:50
DOI or Identification number: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00356.2017
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10290

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