The Roles of Monoarticular and Biarticular Muscles of the Lower Limbs in Terrestrial Locomotion

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Specific features of the functioning of mono- and biarticular muscles were studied using a multijoint movement (a high jump) as an example. The powers of the knee and ankle joint extensors are insufficient for a strong and quick movement such as a high jump. Biarticular muscles (m. rectus femoris) transfer forces/powers from one joint to another, thereby compensating for the physiological shortcoming of monoarticular muscles, that is, a decrease in the tractive force with increasing contraction rate. In a high jump, a power of 300 W may be transferred from the hip to the knee joint via the m. rectus femoris; 230 W, from the knee to the hip joint via the hamstring muscle; 210 W, from the knee joint to the ankle via the m. gastrocnemius; and 15 W, from the metatarsophalangeal joint to the ankle via the mm. flexors.

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