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Limb Kinematics, Kinetics and Muscle Dynamics During the Sit-to-Stand Transition in Greyhounds

Ellis, Richard G; Rankin, Jeffery W; Hutchinson, John R
Standing up from a prone position is a critical daily activity for animals: failing to do so effectively may cause an injurious fall or increase predation susceptibility. This sit-to-stand behaviour (StS) is biomechanically interesting because it necessitates transitioning through near-maximal joint motion ranges from a crouched (i.e., poor mechanical advantage) to a more upright posture. Such large joint excursions should require large length changes of muscle-tendon units. Here we integrate experimental and musculoskeletal simulation methods to quantify the joint motions, limb forces, and muscle fibre forces, activations and length changes during StS in an extreme athlete-the greyhound-which has large hindlimb muscles bearing short-fibred distal muscles and long tendons. Study results indicate that hindlimb anti-gravity muscle fibres operate near their ~50% limits of length change during StS; mostly by starting at highly lengthened positions. StS also requires high muscle activations (>50%), in part due to non-sagittal motions. Finally, StS movements require passive non-muscular support in the distal hindlimb where short-fibred muscles are incapable of sustaining StS themselves. Non-locomotor behaviours like StS likely impose important trade-offs between muscle fibre force capacity and length changes, as well as active and passive mechanisms of support, that have been neglected in locomotor biomechanics studies.
PMID: 30505834
ISSN: 2296-4185
CID: 4930052

Muscle contributions to propulsion and braking during walking and running: insight from external force perturbations

Ellis, Richard G; Sumner, Bonnie J; Kram, Rodger
There remains substantial debate as to the specific contributions of individual muscles to center of mass accelerations during walking and running. To gain insight, we altered the demand for muscular propulsion and braking by applying external horizontal impeding and aiding forces near the center of mass as subjects walked and ran on a treadmill. We recorded electromyographic activity of the gluteus maximus (superior and inferior portions), the gluteus medius, biceps femoris, semitendinosus/membrinosus, vastus medialis, lateral and medial gastrocnemius and soleus. We reasoned that activity in a propulsive muscle would increase with external impeding force and decrease with external aiding force whereas activity in a braking muscle would show the opposite. We found that during walking the gastrocnemius and gluteus maximus provide propulsion while the vasti are central in providing braking. During running, we found that the gluteus maximus, vastus medialis, gastrocnemius and soleus all contribute to propulsion.
PMID: 25096545
ISSN: 1879-2219
CID: 4930042

Activity and functions of the human gluteal muscles in walking, running, sprinting, and climbing

Bartlett, Jamie L; Sumner, Bonnie; Ellis, Richard G; Kram, Rodger
It has been suggested that the uniquely large gluteus maximus (GMAX) muscles were an important adaptation during hominin evolution based on numerous anatomical differences between humans and extant apes. GMAX electromyographic (EMG) signals have been quantified for numerous individual movements, but not across the range of locomotor gaits and speeds for the same subjects. Thus, comparing relative EMG amplitudes between these activities has not been possible. We assessed the EMG activity of the gluteal muscles during walking, running, sprinting, and climbing. To gain further insight into the function of the gluteal muscles during locomotion, we measured muscle activity during walking and running with external devices that increased or decreased the need to control either forward or backward trunk pitch. We hypothesized that 1) GMAX EMG activity would be greatest during sprinting and climbing and 2) GMAX EMG activity would be modulated in response to altered forward trunk pitch demands during running. We found that GMAX activity in running was greater than walking and similar to climbing. However, the activity during sprinting was much greater than during running. Further, only the inferior portion of the GMAX had a significant change with altered trunk pitch demands, suggesting that the hip extensors have a limited contribution to the control of trunk pitch movements during running. Overall, our data suggest that the large size of the GMAX reflects its multifaceted role during rapid and powerful movements rather than as a specific adaptation for a single submaximal task such as endurance running.
PMID: 24218079
ISSN: 1096-8644
CID: 4930032

The metabolic and mechanical costs of step time asymmetry in walking

Ellis, Richard G; Howard, Kevin C; Kram, Rodger
Animals use both pendular and elastic mechanisms to minimize energy expenditure during terrestrial locomotion. Elastic gaits can be either bilaterally symmetric (e.g. run and trot) or asymmetric (e.g. skip, canter and gallop), yet only symmetric pendular gaits (e.g. walk) are observed in nature. Does minimizing metabolic and mechanical power constrain pendular gaits to temporal symmetry? We measured rates of metabolic energy expenditure and calculated mechanical power production while healthy humans walked symmetrically and asymmetrically at a range of step and stride times. We found that walking with a 42 per cent step time asymmetry required 80 per cent (2.5 W kg(-1)) more metabolic power than preferred symmetric gait. Positive mechanical power production increased by 64 per cent (approx. 0.24 W kg(-1)), paralleling the increases we observed in metabolic power. We found that when walking asymmetrically, subjects absorbed more power during double support than during symmetric walking and compensated by increasing power production during single support. Overall, we identify inherent metabolic and mechanical costs to gait asymmetry and find that symmetry is optimal in healthy human walking.
PMID: 23407831
ISSN: 1471-2954
CID: 4930022

A biplanar X-ray method for three-dimensional analysis of track formation

Ellis, Richard G.; Gatesy, Stephen M.
ISSN: 1935-3952
CID: 4930072

Activity and functions of the human gluteal muscles in walking, running, sprinting and climbing [Meeting Abstract]

Bartlett, Jamie L.; Sumner, Bonnie J.; Ellis, Rich G.; Kram, Rodger
ISSN: 0002-9483
CID: 4930062


Gatesy, Stephen M.; Ellis, Richard
ISSN: 0272-4634
CID: 4930082