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Biomechanics of Human Skeletal Muscle Lecture Notes Clear and concise notes taken during lecture. (Received an A)

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Kinesiology & Health Science
KINE 3030
William Gage

Biomechanics of Human Skeletal Muscle Musculotendinous Unit  Extensibility refers to the ability to be stretched  Elasticity refers to the ability to return to normal resting length after a stretch  Parallel and series elastic components are the stretchy parts of muscle and tendons, respectively o Even steel is stretchy  Irritability is the ability to respond to a stimulus (electrical stimulation from the nervous system)  Smaller motor units are recruited first (Henemen’s recruitment principle) o Used for fine movement  Slow twitch fibres are recruited first  Fast twitch fibres (type IIa, IIb) both reach peak tension and relax more quickly than slow twitch fibres (type I) o Exist as a continuum  Peak tension is greater for fast twitch than slow twitch Structural Organization of Skeletal Muscle  Parallel fibre arrangement o Parallel with the longitudinal axis o With a shortening of fibres there is a direct shortening of muscle  Pennate fibre arrangement o Angled to the longitudinal axis o With a shortening of fibres there is a rotation of fibres shortening the muscle o The development of force at the tendon is related to fibre angle (think of the canoe being pulled along a dock); the closer it is to parallel, the more force is directed along the tendon o Not as much force as parallel if you have the same number of fibres…however, most pennate muscles have many more muscle fibres therefore produce more force o As a pennate muscle contracts, the muscle fibres rotate so that the angle between the fibre and the longitudinal axis increases, thereby decreasing the amount of force
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