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Limb kinematics, kinetics and muscle dynamics during the sit-to-stand transition in greyhounds

Ellis, R G; Rankin, J W; Hutchinson, J R


R G Ellis

J W Rankin

J R Hutchinson


Standing up from a prone position is a critical daily activity for animals: failing to do so effectively may cause an injurious fall or increase predation susceptibility. This sit-to-stand behaviour (StS) is biomechanically interesting because it necessitates transitioning through near-maximal joint motion ranges from a crouched (i.e., poor mechanical advantage) to a more upright posture. Such large joint excursions should require large length changes of muscle-tendon units. Here we integrate experimental and musculoskeletal simulation methods to quantify the joint motions, limb forces, and muscle fibre forces, activations and length changes during StS in an extreme athlete – the greyhound – which has large hindlimb muscles bearing short-fibred distal muscles and long tendons. Study results indicate that hindlimb anti-gravity muscle fibres operate near their ~50% limits of length change during StS; mostly by starting at highly lengthened positions. StS also requires high muscle activations (>50%), in part due to non-sagittal motions. Finally, StS movements require passive non-muscular support in the distal hindlimb where short-fibred muscles are incapable of sustaining StS themselves. Non-locomotor behaviours like StS likely impose important trade-offs between muscle fibre force capacity and length changes, as well as active and passive mechanisms of support, that have been neglected in locomotor biomechanics studies.


Ellis, R. G., Rankin, J. W., & Hutchinson, J. R. (in press). Limb kinematics, kinetics and muscle dynamics during the sit-to-stand transition in greyhounds. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 16, 2018
Deposit Date Nov 3, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 30, 2019
Journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Public URL


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