Ankle and knee extensor muscle effort during locomotion in young and older athletes : Implications for understanding age-related locomotor decline
Kulmala, J.-P., Korhonen, M. T., Ruggiero, L., Kuitunen, S., Suominen, H., Heinonen, A., Mikkola, A., & Avela, J. (2020). Ankle and knee extensor muscle effort during locomotion in young and older athletes : Implications for understanding age-related locomotor decline. Scientific Reports, 10, Article 2801. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-59676-y
Published inScientific Reports
DisciplineGerontologia ja kansanterveysBiomekaniikkaFysioterapiaGerontology and Public HealthBiomechanicsPhysiotherapy
© The Author(s) 2020
Age-related reduction in muscle force generation capacity is similarly evident across different lower limb muscle groups, yet decline in locomotor performance with age has been shown to depend primarily on reduced ankle extensor muscle function. To better understand why ageing has the largest detrimental effect on ankle joint function during locomotion, we examined maximal ankle and knee extensor force development during a two-leg hopping test in older and young men, and used these forces as a reference to calculate relative operating efforts for the knee and ankle extensors as participants walked, ran and sprinted. We found that, across locomotion modes in both age groups, ankle extensors operated at a greater relative effort compared to knee extensors; however, slightly less pronounced differences between ankle and knee extensor muscle efforts were present among older men, mainly due to a reduction in the ankle extensor force generation during locomotion modes. We consider these findings as evidence that reduced ankle push-off function in older age is driven by a tendency to keep ankle extensor effort during locomotion lower than it would otherwise be, which, in turn, may be an important self-optimisation strategy to prevent locomotor-induced fatigue of ankle extensor muscles. ...
PublisherNature Publishing Group
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- Liikuntatieteiden tiedekunta 
Additional information about fundingThis work was supported by the Academy of Finland (grants 308364 and 138574) and the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (grant 250683).
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