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Physiological Practical 2

Skeletal Muscle and Biomechanics Practical

The aim of this practical is to
1. Calculate the biceps muscle force required to support a handheld weight
2. Explain the relationship between cycling speed/weight-lifting rate and the
maximum force/power achieved
3. Understand and describe active and passive insufficiency, and how they limit
a multi-joint movement, by observing finger flexion at different angles of wrist
flexion and extension (1)
Procedure 1: Maximum weight at various joint angles
Method: for this experiment can be found on page 61 of the Human Biology
lab manual
Results:
Elbow angle
(degrees
from
straight)

UPRIGHT

HORIZONTAL

Left

Right

Left

Right

20

4.5

45

5.5

7.5

60

6.5

6.5

7.8

8.0

85

9.5

9.5

120

9.5

9.5

Preliminary notes for Procedure 1:

According to the results the maximum weight that the subject can hold when his
forearm is in an upright position is 9.5kg at 120degress for both left and right
arms. When the forearm is horizontal, the subject can lift a maximum of 9.5 at
85degrees, for both arms.
The difference in upright and horizontal data may be due to the fact that the
arrangement of the muscle and bone in the horizontal position means that the
angle of the forearm to the upper arm affects the muscle force, whilst in the
upright position the angle of the forearm affects only the maximum tension of the
muscle.
*It should be noted that due to the size of the class, we were only able to use
9.5kg worth of weights so its possible that the subject could have lifted more.
Lifting force

r W)/rm

M= ( wx

Procedure 2: The Force/Velocity Relationship

Method: For this procedure can be found on page 65-66 of the Human Biology
lab manual
Results:
(a) Force/velocity

(b) Power/velocity

Weight
(kg)

Time for
10 lifts (s)

Lifts per
second

Resistance
setting

Max RPM
(i.e.
velocity
)

1.8

7.40

1.35

150

2.3

9.13

1.10

146

2.7

9.83

1.02

130

3.2

11.43

0.87

122

3.7

12.20

0.82

118

15.51

0.64

113

109

107

100

Prelim. Notes for Procedure 2:

For procedure 2a the larger the weight, the greater the forcer required thus the
shortening velocity of the movement is slower; this corresponds to less lifts per
second, as shown in the results table.
For procedure 2b, the higher the resistance setting, the greater the power
needed, the slower the shortening (contraction) velocity; this corresponds to a
lower maximum RPM in the results table.

Procedure 3: Length tension and active and passive insufficiency

Method: for this experiment can be found on page 66-67 of the Human
Biology lab manual
Results: results D-G were compiled from a number of different groups
doing the practical on April 14th 2014
Subjec
t

Dominant hand
-90

-60

-30

30

60

90

1.50

6.00

9.50

10.80

9.00

7.00

4.00

2.00

5.00

6.50

8.50

8.50

5.00

1.00

2.00

5.50

6.50

10.00

8.50

9.50

6.00

8.00

16.50

20.00

15.00

16.75

16.50

15.00

4.75

10.00

12.50

12.00

12.75

12.50

11.50

2.75

8.00

11.25

14.00

14.00

15.00

13.00

4.00

6.50

11.5

18.00

16.00

12.50

11.5

3.43

8.21

11.12

12.57

12.21

11.14

8.85

2.24

3.73

4.25

3.05

3.30

3.87

4.82

Mean
SEM

Preliminary notes for Procedure 3:

This experiment took place between two extremes; -90 and 90
At -90, on average, the subjects had the least strength in their grip (in lbs.

per square inch), with a mean of 3.43 2.24, and this was most likely due
to passive insufficiency. At -90 the wrist was under extreme flexion and
this resulted in passive insufficiency, as the muscles could not stretch to
allow sufficient movement of the digits, resulting in a weak grip.
At 0 the subjects, on average, had the strongest grip (in lbs. per square
inch), with a mean of 12.57 2.24. This was the optimum angle, according
to the results in this experiment.
At 90, on average, the subjects had a weaker grip (in lbs. per square inch)
than at 0, but stronger than at -90, with an average of 8.85 4.82. This
decreased grip strength may be a result of active insufficiency, which is
due to the extreme extension of the wrist at 90; movement cannot
sufficiently occur because the muscle is already contracted and cannot
shorten much further.