Comparison of muscle and tendon stiffness, jumping ability, muscle strength and fatigue in the plantar flexors

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1998 Oct;8(5 Pt 1):252-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.1998.tb00479.x.


An isokinetic dynamometer was used to measure plantar flexion muscle strength at 60 degrees/s and 200 degrees/s in 10 healthy young men (mean age 25 years). Muscle and tendon stiffnesses were determined on the dynamometer by the use of electrical stimulation and passive stretch (200 degrees/s). Differences in jumping heights between squat and counter-movement jumps were calculated from flight times. The number of heel-rises performed until exhaustion, standing on one leg, were counted. Stepwise regression analysis showed that differences in jumping height increased with lower muscle strength and with higher muscle and tendon stiffnesses, indicating that elastic components may be of more importance in persons with lower muscle strength. The number of heel-rises was negatively dependant on tendon stiffness, indicating that increased stiffness may enhance the development of fatigue.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Elasticity
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology
  • Fatigue / physiopathology*
  • Foot / physiology*
  • Heel / physiology
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Regression Analysis
  • Tendons / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Torque
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology*