Muscle and Tendon Relations in Humans

Power enhancement in counter-movement exercise
  • Tetsuo Fukunaga
  • Yasuo Kawakami
  • Tetsuro Muraoka
  • Hiroaki Kanehisa
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 508)


To clarify the mechanisms of power enhancement during counter-movement exercise, in vivo muscle fibre behavior during plantar flexion exercise was estimated by real time ultrasonography. Six healthy male subjects were requested to perform ankle plantar flexion exercise with counter-movement (CM, plantar flexion preceded by dorsiflexion) and without counter-movement (noCM, plantar flexion only) on a specially designed dynamometer. In CM, in the dorsiflexion phase, muscle fascicle length was initially lengthened, following which its length remained unchanged while the whole muscle-tendon unit was still lengthened, and decreased in the plantar flexion phase. In noCM, fascicle length decreased throughout the movement and it was longer at the onset of movement than in CM. During dorsiflexion phase in CM, muscle fascicles were not actively lengthened, but contracted isometrically at near optimum length of fibre; thus the increase in muscle-tendon unit length was taken up by elongation of the tendinous tissues. These results demonstrate that power enhancement during CM is due to higher force production by isometric contraction at optimal fibre length.


Joint Angle Isometric Contraction Plantar Flexion Ankle Angle Fascicle Length 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tetsuo Fukunaga
  • Yasuo Kawakami
  • Tetsuro Muraoka
  • Hiroaki Kanehisa
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Life Sciences (Sports Sciences)University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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