Skeletal Muscle Mechanics

A special issue of Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology (ISSN 2411-5142). This special issue belongs to the section "Functional Anatomy and Musculoskeletal System".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 April 2024) | Viewed by 10408

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada
Interests: musculoskeletal system; osteoarthritis; growth, healing, and adaptation of soft (ligament, tendon, muscle, and articular cartilage) and hard (bone) tissues

Special Issue Information

Dear Collesgues,

The Special issue "Skeletal Muscle Mechanics" in the Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology endeavors to elucidate the intricate and dynamic principles governing the functionality of skeletal muscles. It aims to conduct a thorough exploration of the structural and functional facets of skeletal muscles, spanning from the molecular and cellular levels to tissue and complete muscle structures. This distinctive publication seeks to illuminate the mechanical foundations of muscle contraction, force production, and energy metabolism, along with the adaptive reactions of skeletal muscles to physical exercise, inactivity, and the aging process. Moreover, it will delve into the utilization of advanced biomechanical and imaging methodologies to investigate muscle mechanics in both healthy and pathological conditions, with a specific emphasis on comprehending the implications for rehabilitation, athletic performance, and clinical interventions.

Prof. Dr. Walter Herzog
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • skeletal muscle
  • muscle mechanics
  • muscle contraction
  • force generation
  • energy metabolism
  • biomechanics imaging techniques exercise adaptation muscle aging rehabilitation

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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10 pages, 2501 KiB  
Article
Does Pelvic Tilt Angle Influence the Isokinetic Strength of the Hip and Knee Flexors and Extensors?
by Eleftherios Kellis, Athanasios Konstantopoulos, Georgios Salonikios and Athanasios Ellinoudis
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(2), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9020073 - 12 Apr 2024
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Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of pelvic tilt angle on maximum hip and knee muscles’ strength and antagonist/agonist strength ratios. Twenty-one young males and females performed maximum isokinetic concentric knee extension–flexion and hip extension–flexion efforts at 60°·s−1 [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of pelvic tilt angle on maximum hip and knee muscles’ strength and antagonist/agonist strength ratios. Twenty-one young males and females performed maximum isokinetic concentric knee extension–flexion and hip extension–flexion efforts at 60°·s−1, 120°·s−1, and 180°·s−1 from three positions: anterior, neutral, and posterior pelvic tilt. Peak torques and knee flexor-to-extensor and hip flexor-to-extensor torque ratios were analyzed. An analysis of variance showed that peak hip extensor torque was significantly greater in the anterior pelvic tilt condition compared to either neutral or posterior pelvic tilt angles (p > 0.05). No effects of changing pelvic tilt angle on hip flexor, knee flexor, or knee extension values were found (p > 0.05). The hip flexor-to-extensor torque ratio decreased (p < 0.05) in the anterior pelvic tilt position relative to the other positions, while no difference in the knee flexor-to-extensor ratio between pelvic positions was observed (p > 0.05). This study shows that an increased anterior pelvic tilt affects the maximum isokinetic strength of the hip extensors, supporting previous suggestions regarding the link between pelvic position and hip and knee muscle function. Isokinetic testing from an anterior pelvic tilt position may alter the evaluation of hip flexion/extension strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skeletal Muscle Mechanics)
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11 pages, 1148 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Femur Mineral Content and Local Muscle Strength and Mass
by Bruno V. R. Ramos, Danilo A. Massini, Tiago A. F. Almeida, Eliane A. Castro, Mário C. Espada, Cátia C. Ferreira, Ricardo A. M. Robalo, Anderson G. Macedo and Dalton M. Pessôa Filho
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(2), 69; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9020069 - 9 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Among the stimuli able to prevent early decreases in bone mineralization, exercise has a noticeable role per se as the source of mechanical stimulus or through lean tissue enlargement by its increasing of tensional stimulus. However, prevention strategies, including exercise, generally do not [...] Read more.
Among the stimuli able to prevent early decreases in bone mineralization, exercise has a noticeable role per se as the source of mechanical stimulus or through lean tissue enlargement by its increasing of tensional stimulus. However, prevention strategies, including exercise, generally do not establish the moment in life when attention should begin to be paid to bone integrity, according to age group- and sex-related differences. Thus, this study analyzed the relationship between variables from the diagnosis of total and regional body composition, muscle strength, and bone mineral content (BMC) of femurs in young adult males. Thirty-four young Caucasian men (24.9 ± 8.6 years) had their body composition and bone density assessed by dual X-ray absorptiometry. The subjects performed a one-repetition maximum test (1-RM) in a bench press, front pulley, seated-row, push press, arm curl, triceps pulley, leg flexion, leg extension, and 45° leg press for the assessment of muscle strength in upper and lower limbs in single- and multi-joint exercises. Lean tissue mass in the trunk and upper and lower limbs were related to femoral BMC (Pearson coefficient ranging from 0.55 to 0.72, p < 0.01), and 1-RM values for different exercises involving both upper and lower limbs also correlated with femoral BMC (Pearson coefficients ranging from 0.34 to 0.46, p < 0.05). Taken together, these correlations suggest that muscle mass and strength are positively linked with the magnitude of femoral mass in men, even in early adulthood. Hence, the importance of an enhanced muscle mass and strength to the health of femoral bones in young adults was highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skeletal Muscle Mechanics)
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12 pages, 1035 KiB  
Article
Female Lower Body Muscle Forces: A Musculoskeletal Modeling Comparison of Back Squats, Split Squats and Good Mornings
by Jessica S. Jaeggi, Basil Achermann and Silvio R. Lorenzetti
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(2), 68; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9020068 - 8 Apr 2024
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Abstract
The aim of this study was to analyze lower leg muscle forces during strength exercises such as back squats, good mornings and split squats, with a particular emphasis on females. By focusing on females, who are more vulnerable to anterior cruciate ligament injuries, [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to analyze lower leg muscle forces during strength exercises such as back squats, good mornings and split squats, with a particular emphasis on females. By focusing on females, who are more vulnerable to anterior cruciate ligament injuries, we aimed to better understand muscle engagement and its role in injury prevention. Eight participants were monitored during exercises with a barbell load of 25% of body weight and, during the back squat, an additional 50% load. The analysis was conducted using personalized musculoskeletal models, electromyography (EMG) and Vicon motion capture systems to assess various muscle groups, including the m. gluteus maximus and m. gluteus medius, as well as the hamstring and quadriceps muscles. The back squat produced the highest forces for the quadriceps muscles, particularly the rectus femoris (>25 N/kg), as well as in the back leg during the split squat (>15 N/kg). The gluteal muscles were most active during good mornings and in the front leg of the split squat, especially the m. gluteus maximus medial part (>20 N/kg). The hamstrings generated the highest muscle forces in the front leg of the split squat, with the greatest forces observed in the m. semimembranosus. Our research highlights how musculoskeletal modeling helps us to understand the relationship among muscles, joint angles and anterior cruciate ligament injury risks, especially in strength training females. The results emphasize the need for personalized exercise guidance and customized models to make strength training safer and more effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skeletal Muscle Mechanics)
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10 pages, 640 KiB  
Article
Muscle Ultrasound Echo Intensity and Fiber Type Composition in Young Females
by Gerasimos Terzis, Eftychia Vekaki, Constantinos Papadopoulos, Giorgos Papadimas and Angeliki-Nikoletta Stasinaki
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9020064 - 5 Apr 2024
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Abstract
Ultrasonography has been extensively used to evaluate skeletal muscle morphology. The echo intensity, i.e., the mean pixel intensity of a specific region of interest in an ultrasound image, may vary among muscles and individuals with several intramuscular parameters presumed to influence it. The [...] Read more.
Ultrasonography has been extensively used to evaluate skeletal muscle morphology. The echo intensity, i.e., the mean pixel intensity of a specific region of interest in an ultrasound image, may vary among muscles and individuals with several intramuscular parameters presumed to influence it. The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation between muscle echo intensity and muscle fiber type composition in humans. Thirteen female physical education students (age: 22.3 ± 5.4 years, height: 1.63 ± 0.06 m, body mass: 59.9 ± 7.4 kg) with no history of systematic athletic training participated in the study. Body composition with dual X-ray absorptiometry, leg-press maximum strength (1-RM), echo intensity, and the cross-sectional area (CSA) of the vastus lateralis (VL) muscle according to ultrasonography were measured. Muscle biopsies were harvested from the VL site where the echo intensity was measured. VL echo intensity was not significantly correlated with the percentage of type I muscle fibers or with the percentage area of type I muscle fibers. However, when VL echo intensity was corrected for the subcutaneous fat thickness at the site of the measurement, it was significantly correlated with the percentage of type I muscle fibers (r = 0.801, p < 0.01) and the percentage area of type I muscle fibers (r = 0.852, p < 0.01). These results suggest that the echo intensity of the vastus lateralis muscle corrected for the subcutaneous fat thickness at the measurement site may provide an estimate of the muscle fiber type composition, at least in young moderately trained females. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skeletal Muscle Mechanics)
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13 pages, 6099 KiB  
Article
Muscular Strategies for Correcting the Pelvic Position to Improve Posture—An Exploratory Study
by Oliver Ludwig, Carlo Dindorf, Sebastian Kelm, Jens Kelm and Michael Fröhlich
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9010025 - 29 Jan 2024
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Abstract
The correction of postural weaknesses through the better positioning of the pelvis is an important approach in sports therapy and physiotherapy. The pelvic position in the sagittal plane is largely dependent on the muscular balance of the ventral and dorsal muscle groups. The [...] Read more.
The correction of postural weaknesses through the better positioning of the pelvis is an important approach in sports therapy and physiotherapy. The pelvic position in the sagittal plane is largely dependent on the muscular balance of the ventral and dorsal muscle groups. The aim of this exploratory study was to examine whether healthy persons use similar muscular activation patterns to correct their pelvic position or whether there are different motor strategies. The following muscles were recorded in 41 persons using surface electromyography (EMG): M. trapezius pars ascendens, M. erector spinae pars lumbalis, M. gluteus maximus, M. biceps femoris, M. rectus abdominis, and M. obliquus externus. The participants performed 10 voluntary pelvic movements (retroversion of the pelvis). The anterior pelvic tilt was measured videographically via marker points on the anterior and posterior superior iliac spine. The EMG data were further processed and normalized to the maximum voluntary contraction. A linear regression analysis was conducted to assess the relationship between changes in the pelvic tilt and muscle activities. Subsequently, a Ward clustering analysis was applied to detect potential muscle activation patterns. The differences between the clusters and the pelvic tilt were examined using ANOVA. Cluster analysis revealed the presence of four clusters with different muscle activation patterns in which the abdominal muscles and dorsal muscle groups were differently involved. However, the gluteus maximus muscle was involved in every activation pattern. It also had the strongest correlation with the changes in pelvic tilt. Different individual muscle patterns are used by different persons to correct pelvic posture, with the gluteus maximus muscle apparently playing the most important role. This can be important for therapy, as different muscle strategies should be trained depending on the individually preferred motor patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skeletal Muscle Mechanics)
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Review

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18 pages, 510 KiB  
Review
Effects of Strengthening Exercises on Human Kinetic Chains Based on a Systematic Review
by Muhammad Adeel, Bor-Shing Lin, Muhammad Asad Chaudhary, Hung-Chou Chen and Chih-Wei Peng
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9010022 - 17 Jan 2024
Viewed by 2131
Abstract
Kinetic chains (KCs) are primarily affected by the load of different activities that recruit muscles from different regions. We explored the effects of strengthening exercises on KCs through muscle activation. Four databases were searched from 1990 to 2019. The muscles of each KC, [...] Read more.
Kinetic chains (KCs) are primarily affected by the load of different activities that recruit muscles from different regions. We explored the effects of strengthening exercises on KCs through muscle activation. Four databases were searched from 1990 to 2019. The muscles of each KC, their surface electromyography (sEMG), and the exercises conducted were reported. We found 36 studies that presented muscle activation using the percent (%) maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) or average sEMG for nine KCs in different regions. The % MVIC is presented as the following four categories: low (≤20%), moderate (21~40%), high (41~60%), and very high (>60%). Only four studies mentioned muscle activation in more than three KCs, while the remaining studies reported inconsistent sEMG processing, lacked normalization, and muscle activation in one or two KCs. The roles of stabilizers and the base of support in overhead throwing mobility using balance exercises were examined, and the concentric phase of chin-up and lat pull-down activated the entire KC by recruiting multiple muscles. Also, deep-water running was shown to prevent the risk of falls and enhance balance and stability. In addition, low-load trunk rotations improved the muscles of the back and external oblique activation. Based on this study’s findings, closed-chain exercises activate more groups of muscles in a kinetic chain than open-chain exercises. However, no closed or open chain exercise can activate optimal KCs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skeletal Muscle Mechanics)
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Other

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9 pages, 491 KiB  
Brief Report
Play Activities Are Associated with Force Regulation in Primary School
by Kyota Koitabashi, An Murase, Jun Yasuda and Takeshi Okamoto
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2024, 9(1), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk9010054 - 18 Mar 2024
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Abstract
The daily exercise habits and play activities of children are known to have a significant impact on the development of body control. However, previous studies have not adequately explored the correlation between force regulation during submaximal visual effort, exercise, and play experience. This [...] Read more.
The daily exercise habits and play activities of children are known to have a significant impact on the development of body control. However, previous studies have not adequately explored the correlation between force regulation during submaximal visual effort, exercise, and play experience. This study aimed to examine the correlation between exercise habits and play experience and their impact on the ability to regulate force. This study involved 23 children with an average age of 9.2 ± 1.0 years. The participants were required to match their force exertion during submaximal effort to a varying demand value displayed in a sinusoidal pattern on a screen (controlled force exertion, CFE). Individual interviews were conducted to gather information on the exercise experience (time, frequency, and duration) and play activities (number of experiences and frequency). Multiple regression analysis was performed to determine the association among exercise experience, play activity, and CFE. The results indicated that the amount of exercise experience was not significantly associated with CFE (β = −0.203, p = 0.254). However, in terms of play activities, the number of play experiences was associated with CFE (β = −0.321, p = 0.038). On the contrary, play frequency was not significantly associated with CFE (β = −0.219, p = 0.191). These findings suggest that play activities are effective in improving force regulation during childhood and that a greater variety of play experiences may be important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Skeletal Muscle Mechanics)
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