The Unique Action of Bi-Articular Muscles in Leg Extensions

  • Gerrit Jan van Ingen Schenau
  • Maarten F. Bobbert
  • Arthur J. van Soest


In textbooks on the anatomy of the musculo-skeletal system, both muscles crossing only one joint (mono-articular muscles) and muscles crossing more than one joint (multi-articular muscles) are classified according to the location of their line of action relative to joint axes of rotation (e.g. Williams and Warwick, 1980). For instance, the line of action of the mono-articular vastus medialis passes anterior to the flexion/extension axis of the knee joint, and therefore the muscle is classified as a knee extensor. Similarly, the bi-articular gastrocnemius is classified as a knee flexor and ankle plantar flexor. As such, the gastrocnemius is considered to be an antagonist of the vasti at the knee joint.


Knee Extension Knee Extensor Plantar Flexion Joint Moment Vertical Jump 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerrit Jan van Ingen Schenau
  • Maarten F. Bobbert
  • Arthur J. van Soest

There are no affiliations available

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