Characteristics of human knee muscle coordination during isometric contractions in a standing posture: The effect of limb task

  • MacLeod T
  • Manal K
  • Silbernagel K
 et al. 
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Different functional roles for the hands have been demonstrated, however leg control is not as well understood. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate bilateral knee neuromuscular control to determine if the limb receiving greater attention would have more well-tuned control compared to an unattended limb. Surface electrodes were placed on seven muscles of each limb, before standing on two force platforms. Visual feedback was given of the forces and moments of the "focus limb," but not the "unattended limb." Static isometric forces were matched with their focus limb, requiring their unattended limb to push in the opposite direction, using a combination of forward-backward-medial-lateral shear forces while muscle activity was collected bilaterally. There was a significant main effect for limb task (p= 0.02), with the medial hamstrings being more specific (p= 0.001) while performing the unattended limb and the lateral hamstring being more well-tuned (p= 0.007) while performing the focus limb task. The focus limb's medial and lateral gastrocnemius were principally active in the forwards direction, but only the unattended limb's lateral gastrocnemius was active in the backwards direction. Findings suggest unique neuromuscular control strategies are used for the legs depending on limb task. © 2013.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bidirectional
  • Intermuscular coordination
  • Neuromechanics
  • Specificity
  • Synergy

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  • Toran D. MacLeod

  • Kurt Manal

  • Karin Grävare Silbernagel

  • Lynn Snyder-Mackler

  • Thomas S. Buchanan

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