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Active Voice: Too Much Quadriceps, Too Little Calf

from By Juha-Pekka Kulmala, Ph.D.

From Feb. 7: Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Juha-Pekka Kulmala, Ph.D., completed his doctoral degree in biomechanics through the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and currently works as a clinical biomechanist in the Helsinki University Hospital, Finland. His research concentrates on walking and running biomechanics.

This commentary presents Dr. Kulmala's views on the topic related to a research article which he and colleagues authored. Their article appears in the November 2016 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® (MSSE).

We humans use our quadriceps and calf muscles to produce most of the support needed for locomotion. However, little is known about how the upper functional limits of these key muscle groups contribute to performance in walking or running activities. This knowledge would be of crucial importance in the broad context of human locomotion, because the muscles operating nearest to their maximum limits are the "weak link" and, therefore, are the most efficient targets for exercise interventions aimed at improving walking or running performance. more

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