Dynamics of goat distal hind limb muscle-tendon function in response to locomotor grade

M Polly Mcguigan, E Yoo, D V Lee, A A Biewener

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35 Citations (SciVal)


The functional roles of the lateral gastrocnemius (LG), medial gastrocnemius (MG) and superficial digital flexor (SDF) muscle-tendon units (MTUs) in domestic goats (N=6) were studied as a function of locomotor grade, testing the hypothesis that changes in distal limb muscle work would reflect changes in mechanical work requirements while goats walked or trotted on the level, 15 deg. decline and 15 deg. incline. As steep terrain-adapted animals, changes in muscle work output are expected to be particularly important for goats. In vivo muscle-tendon forces, fascicle length changes and muscle activation were recorded via tendon force buckles, sonomicrometry and electromyography to evaluate the work performance and elastic energy recovery of the three distal MTUs. These recordings confirmed that fascicle strain and force within goat distal hind limb muscles are adjusted in response to changes in mechanical work demand associated with locomotor grade. In general, muscle work was modulated most consistently by changes in fascicle strain, with increased net shortening (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2092-2104
Number of pages13
JournalThe Journal of Experimental Biology
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


  • work
  • muscle-tendon force
  • tendon elastic energy
  • fascicle strain
  • EMG


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