The force resulting from the action of mono- and biarticular muscles in a limb

AL Hof*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Human and animal limbs can be modelled as a chain of segments connected at joints. For a static limb, the force exerted at the endpoint due to the force of a single muscle has been calculated. It turns out that there are marked differences in the action of monovs. biarticular muscles. Monoarticular muscles produce an endpoint force that is directed in the lengthwise direction of the limb, i.e. in the direction of one of the segments. The force from biarticular muscles can have a marked transverse component. The 'principal direction' of this endpoint force is also the movement direction of the endpoint which is the most favourable for the muscle to do work. The reasoning presented can explain e.g. the differences in the activity of mono- and biarticular muscles in cycling. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1085-1089
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of biomechanics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug-2001


  • biarticular muscles
  • monoarticular muscles
  • preferred direction
  • mechanical advantage
  • cycling

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