Event Details

Friday, 03 June 2016
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
UQ Location:
Human Performance Laboratories (St Lucia)
Event category(s):

Event Contact

Ms Sandrine Kingston-Ducrot
336 56912
Org. Unit:
Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences

Event Description

Full Description:
Muscles are responsible for generating the mechanical work that is required for humans and other animals to move. However, one of the key factors that influences muscle performance is not actually associated with the contractile tissue itself, but instead in the elastic connective tissues that transmit force from the muscle to the skeleton and act to absorb and generate mechanical power during human movement. There are many known benefits of having elastic, ’stretchy' tendons - minimising muscle energetic work, maximising muscle power and protecting muscles from harmful strain. However few people consider the drawbacks of tendon compliance. This talk will focus on when having ‘stretchy’ tendons might be beneficial, but also consider when this might be detrimental to performance or injury risk.

Firstly, I will discuss theoretical implications for changing factors like tendon compliance and how this might be expected to influence muscle force development, energetic cost of performing contractions and the subsequent control of movement. I will then describe experimental findings from our lab where we show that tendon compliance lower limb may be well tuned to enhance efficiency or protect the body from injury. I will also discuss some situations where we find that when tendon compliance may actually hinder function. I will also provide evidence of the protective effect that tendons can have in limiting muscle strain during eccentric muscle actions. Innovative methods for measuring and understanding muscle-tendon interaction during dynamic movements, including musculoskeletal modelling and ultrasound image processing, will be described with insight into how they might be used to assess muscle and tendon function in the future.

Glen Lichtwark is an Associate Professor in Exercise and Sports Science in the School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences. His primary area of expertise is biomechanics and muscle physiology. He was awarded his PhD in 2005 from University College London (UK), where he studied the influence of muscle and tendon elasticity on power output and energetics of muscle. He has subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Royal Veterinary College (UK), Imperial College (UK) and Griffith University. Glen joined UQ in January 2010 to complete a NHMRC Peter Doherty Postdoctoral Fellowship and became a lecturer in 2012. He currently holds funding through the ARC Discovery and Linkage programs and also has funding from charities such as Cerebral Palsy Alliance and Cerebral Palsy International.

Directions to UQ

Google Map:
To St Lucia Campus, UQ Ipswich, and UQ Gatton.

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