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Musculoskeletal Proportionality, Biomechanical Considerations and Their Contribution to Movement in Adults and Children.

O'Brien, TD (2016) Musculoskeletal Proportionality, Biomechanical Considerations and Their Contribution to Movement in Adults and Children. PEDIATRIC EXERCISE SCIENCE. ISSN 0899-8493

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The musculoskeletal system grows greatly throughout maturation. When trying to explain differences in strength, power and movement patterns between adults and children many pediatric exercise scientists will assume that this growth is proportional in all dimensions and structures. This article examines the evidence underpinning these assumptions, and considers how changes in fascicle, muscle, tendon and joint proportions may contribute to maturation-induced changes in physical performance. There are only a small number of studies to draw upon, but they consistently indicate that 1) growth changes the functional design of muscles, so that they become better at producing large forces at slow speeds but less able to achieve large length changes or high velocities; 2) the skeleton appears to grow somewhat proportionally prior to puberty, but this changes throughout adolescence, meaning the moment arm about which the muscle acts does not remain proportional to muscle length or the external moment arm about which joint work acts on the external world. In combination these results show that external measures of whole body or joint performance do not reflect the actual internal muscle function similarly in children and adults. Since our purpose should be to explain and not just describe maturation-induced changes in performance, greater efforts are needed to understand the internal "engine" driving our movement. This necessitates more detailed, longitudinal and dynamically loaded studies of the structure and function of the muscles and their interaction with the skeleton throughout maturation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: as accepted for publication
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement And Sports Science, 1114 Paediatrics And Reproductive Medicine, 1302 Curriculum And Pedagogy
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2016 13:55
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 13:10
DOI or ID number: 10.1123/pes.2015-0263
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/3259
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