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J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2011 Dec;21(6):1081-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2011.06.004. Epub 2011 Jul 16.

Reproducibility of gastrocnemius medialis muscle architecture during treadmill running.

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Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece.


The purpose of this study was to assess the reproducibility of fascicle length (FL) and pennation angle (PA) of gastrocnemius medialis (GM) muscle during running in vivo. Twelve male recreational long distance runners (mean±SD; age: 24±3 years, mass: 76±7kg) ran on a treadmill at a speed of 3.0m/s, wearing their own running shoes, for two different 10min sessions that were at least 2 days apart. For each test day 10 acceptable trials were recorded. Ankle and knee joint angle data were recorded by a Vicon 624 system with three cameras operating at 120Hz. B-mode ultrasonography was used to examine fascicle length and pennation angle of gastrocnemius medialis muscle. The ultrasound probe was firmly secured on the muscle belly using a lightweight foam fixation. The results indicated that fascicle length and pennation angle demonstrated high reproducibility values during treadmill running both for within and between test days. The root mean square scores between the repeated waveforms of pennation angle and fascicle length were small (∼2° and ∼3.5mm, respectively). However, ∼14 trials for pennation angle and ∼9 trials for fascicle length may be required in order to record accurate data from muscle architecture parameters. In conclusion, ultrasound measurements may be highly reproducible during dynamic movements such as treadmill running, provided that a proper fixation is used in order to assure the constant location and orientation of the ultrasound probe throughout the movement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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