Muscle contributions to propulsion and support during running

Samuel R. Hamner*, Ajay Seth, Scott L. Delp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

544 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Muscles actuate running by developing forces that propel the body forward while supporting the body's weight. To understand how muscles contribute to propulsion (i.e., forward acceleration of the mass center) and support (i.e., upward acceleration of the mass center) during running we developed a three-dimensional muscle-actuated simulation of the running gait cycle. The simulation is driven by 92 musculotendon actuators of the lower extremities and torso and includes the dynamics of arm motion. We analyzed the simulation to determine how each muscle contributed to the acceleration of the body mass center. During the early part of the stance phase, the quadriceps muscle group was the largest contributor to braking (i.e., backward acceleration of the mass center) and support. During the second half of the stance phase, the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles were the greatest contributors to propulsion and support. The arms did not contribute substantially to either propulsion or support, generating less than 1% of the peak mass center acceleration. However, the arms effectively counterbalanced the vertical angular momentum of the lower extremities. Our analysis reveals that the quadriceps and plantarflexors are the major contributors to acceleration of the body mass center during running.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2709-2716
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Volume43
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Forward dynamic simulation
  • Human locomotion
  • Induced acceleration analysis
  • Muscle function
  • Musculoskeletal modeling

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