Influence of additional load on the moments of the agonist and antagonist muscle groups at the knee joint during closed chain exercise

  • Rao Guillaume
  • Amarantini David
  • Berton Eric

  • Muscle group moments
  • Numerical optimization
  • Muscular cocontraction
  • Load
  • Closed chain exercises


The present study investigated the influence of additional loads on the knee net joint moment, flexor and extensor muscle group moments, and cocontraction index during a closed chain exercise. Loads of 8, 28, or 48 kg (i.e., respectively, 11.1 +/- 1.5%, 38.8 +/- 5.3%, and 66.4 +/- 9.0% of body mass) were added to subjects during dynamic half squats. The flexor and extensor muscular moments and the amount of cocontraction were estimated at the knee joint using an EMG-and-optimization model that includes kinematics, ground reaction, and EMG measurements as inputs. In general, our results showed a significant influence of the Load factor on the net knee joint moment, the extensor muscular moment, and the flexor muscle group moment (all Anova p <.05). Hence we confirmed an increase in muscle moments with increasing load and moreover, we also showed an original ``more than proportional'' evolution of the flexor and extensor muscle group moments relative to the knee net joint moment. An influence of the Phase (i.e., descent vs. ascent) factor was also seen, revealing different activation strategies from the central nervous system depending on the mode of contraction of the agonist muscle group. The results of the present work could find applications in clinical fields, especially for rehabilitation protocols. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.