It Pays to Have a Spring in Your Step

Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2009 Jul;37(3):130-8. doi: 10.1097/JES.0b013e31819c2df6.


In humans, a large portion of the mechanical work required for walking comes from muscle-tendons crossing the ankle joint. Elastic energy storage and return in the Achilles tendon during each step enhance the efficiency of ankle muscle-tendon mechanical work far beyond what is possible for work performed by knee and hip joint muscle-tendons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena*
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Humans
  • Joints / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Robotics
  • Tendons / physiology
  • Walking*