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Title: Lower limb body composition is associated to knee passive extension torque-angle response
Authors: Neto, Tiago
Freitas, Sandro
Vaz, João
Silva, Analiza
Mil-Homens, Pedro
Carita, Ana Isabel
Keywords: Body composition
Viscoelastic stress relaxation
Passive stiffness
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: SpringerPlus Journal
Citation: SpringerPlus 2013, 2:403
Abstract: Purpose People vary in flexibility regarding maximum joint angle, resistance to stretch and mechanical responses during stretching exercises. Body composition (BC) has been been mentioned as one of the factors for flexibility differences. The aim of this study was to determine how body composition and anthropometric measures of the lower limb is associated with passive knee extension (PKE) torque-angle (T-A) response. Methods Twenty-five male subjects with poor flexibility performed a maximal PKE repetition (velocity of 2°/s; 90 seconds in the static phase). Knee passive T-A, vastus medialis and semitendinosous electromyographic activity were recorded during the protocol. Viscoelastic stress relaxation (VSR) amplitude, knee passive stiffness (KPS), lower limb body composition assessed by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and anthropometry measures were determined. Results Thigh skeletal muscle and bone mass, as well as thigh perimeter, showed a moderated correlation with passive torque (r = 0.45; r = 0.6; r = 0.59, respectively), joint angle (r = 0.46; r = 0.5; r = 0.5), and VSR (r = 0.46; r = 0.49; r = 0.5). Thigh skeletal muscle was also correlated with KPS (r = 0.42). All these correlations were statistically significant (p < 0.05). Conclusions Passive knee extension T-A was found to be moderately correlated with lower limb BC. In particular, thigh perimeter and skeletal muscle mass were associated with knee passive stiffness and viscoelastic stress relaxation. More research is needed to understand what influences joint maximum angle, resistance to stretch and mechanical response to stretching.
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