- Discover information and abstract about this Article
- Discover the Activity around this article
- Sebastian Bohm
- Falk Mersmann
- Alessandro Santuz
- Arno Schroll
- Adamantios Arampatzis
Human running features a spring-like interaction of body and ground, enabled by elastic tendons that store mechanical energy and facilitate muscle operating conditions to minimize the metabolic cost. By experimentally assessing the operating conditions of two important muscles for running, the soleus and vastus lateralis, we investigated physiological mechanisms of muscle energy production and muscle force generation. Results showed that the soleus continuously shortened throughout the stance phase, operating as energy generator under conditions that were found to be optimal for work production: high force-length potential and enthalpy efficiency. The vastus lateralis promoted tendon energy storage and contracted nearly isometrically close to optimal length, resulting in a high force-length-velocity potential beneficial for economical force generation. The favorable operating conditions of both muscles were a result of an effective length and velocity-decoupling of fascicles and muscle-tendon unit mostly due to tendon compliance and, in the soleus, marginally by fascicle rotation.