Muscle force is determined also by muscle relative position: isolated effects

Huub Maas, Guus C. Baan, P.A.J.B.M. Huijing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)


Effects on force of changes of the position of extensor digitorum longus muscle (EDL) relative to surrounding tissues were investigated in rat. Connective tissue at the muscle bellies of tibialis anterior (TA), extensor hallucis longus (EHL) and EDL was left intact, to allow myofascial force transmission. The position of EDL muscle was altered, without changing EDL muscle–tendon complex length, and force exerted at proximal and distal tendons of EDL as well as summed force exerted at the distal tendons of TA and EHL muscles (TA+EHL) were measured. Proximal and distal EDL forces as well as distal TA+EHL force changed significantly on repositioning EDL muscle. These muscle position–force characteristics were assessed at two EDL lengths and two TA+EHL lengths. It was shown that changes of muscle force with length changes of a muscle is the result of the length changes per se, as well as of changes of relative position of parts of the muscle. It is concluded that in addition to length, muscle position relative to its surroundings co-determines isometric muscle force. Keywords: Intermuscular and extramuscular connective tissue; Myofascial force transmission; Rat m. extensor digitorum longus (EDL); Sarcomere length; Muscle relative position
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)99-110
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of biomechanics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Rat m. extensor digitorum longus (EDL)
  • Muscle relative position
  • Sarcomere length
  • Myofascial force transmission
  • Intermuscular and extramuscular connective tissue
  • IR-76267
  • METIS-220450

Cite this