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, 18 (1), 89

Lower Limb Joint Motion and Muscle Force in Treadmill and Over-Ground Exercise

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Lower Limb Joint Motion and Muscle Force in Treadmill and Over-Ground Exercise

Jie Yao et al. Biomed Eng Online.

Abstract

Background: Treadmill exercise is commonly used as an alternative to over-ground walking or running. Increasing evidence indicated the kinetics of treadmill exercise is different from that of over-ground. Biomechanics of treadmill or over-ground exercises have been investigated in terms of energy consumption, ground reaction force, and surface EMG signals. These indexes cannot accurately characterize the musculoskeletal loading, which directly contributes to tissue injuries. This study aimed to quantify the differences of lower limb joint angles and muscle forces in treadmills and over-ground exercises. 10 healthy volunteers were required to walk at 100 and 120 steps/min and run at 140 and 160 steps/min on treadmill and ground. The joint flexion angles were obtained from the motion capture experiments and were used to calculate the muscle forces with an inverse dynamic method.

Results: Hip, knee, and ankle joint motions of treadmill and over-ground conditions were similar in walking, yet different in running. Compared with over-ground running, joint motion ranges in treadmill running were smaller. They were also less affected by stride frequency. Maximum Gastrocnemius force was greater in treadmill walking, yet maximum Rectus femoris and Vastus forces were smaller. Maximum Gastrocnemius and Soleus forces were greater in treadmill running.

Conclusions: Treadmill exercise results in smoother joint kinematics. In terms of muscle force, treadmill exercise requires lower loading on knee extensor, yet higher loading on plantar flexor, especially on Gastrocnemius. The findings and the methodology can provide the basis for rehabilitation therapy customization and sophistic treadmill design.

Keywords: Motion capture; Muscle force; Over-ground; Stride frequency; Treadmill.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Hip flexion angles in treadmill and over-ground exercises. a Hip flexion angles during walking at 100 and 120 steps/min. b Hip flexion angles during running at 140 and 160 steps/min. c Sagittal motion range of hip joint in walking. d Sagittal motion range of hip joint in running
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Knee flexion angles in treadmill and over-ground exercises. a Knee flexion angles during walking at 100 and 120 steps/min. b Knee flexion angles during running at 140 and 160 steps/min. c Sagittal motion range of knee joint in walking. d Sagittal motion range of knee joint in running
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Ankle flexion angles in treadmill and over-ground exercises. a Ankle flexion angles during walking at 100 and 120 steps/min. b Ankle flexion angles during running at 140 and 160 steps/min. c Sagittal motion range of ankle joint in walking. d Sagittal motion range of ankle joint in running
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Muscle forces in treadmill and over-ground walking at 100 and 120 steps/min
Fig. 5
Fig. 5
Muscle forces in treadmill and over-ground running at 140 and 160 steps/min
Fig. 6
Fig. 6
Motion capture experiment in treadmill walking. The IMU and EMG sensors were attached on the subject’s body. The data was transmitted to the computer wirelessly
Fig. 7
Fig. 7
Inverse dynamic model of musculoskeletal system. Hip, knee, and ankle joints and 318 muscles were included in the lower limb part. The muscles of upper limbs and trunk were not included

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