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Trotting and hopping animals use muscles, tendons and ligaments to store and return elastic energy as they bounce along the ground. We examine how the musculoskeletal spring system operates at different speeds and in animals of different sizes. We model trotting and hopping as a simple spring-mass system which consists of a leg spring and a mass. We find(More)
The storage and recovery of elastic energy in muscle-tendon springs is important in running, hopping, trotting, and galloping. We hypothesized that animals select the stride frequency at which they behave most like simple spring-mass systems. If higher or lower frequencies are used, they will not behave like simple spring-mass systems, and the storage and(More)
When humans hop in place or run forward, they adjust leg stiffness to accommodate changes in stride frequency or surface stiffness. The goal of the present study was to determine the mechanisms by which humans adjust leg stiffness during hopping in place. Five subjects hopped in place at 2.2 Hz while we collected force platform and kinematic data. Each(More)
When humans hop in place or run forward, leg stiffness is increased to offset reductions in surface stiffness, allowing the global kinematics and mechanics to remain the same on all surfaces. The purpose of the present study was to determine the mechanism for adjusting leg stiffness. Seven subjects hopped in place on surfaces of different stiffnesses(More)
Walking involves a cyclic exchange of gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy of the center of mass. Our goal was to understand how the limbs of walking quadrupeds coordinate the vertical movements of the fore and hind quarters to produce these inverted pendulum-like movements. We collected kinematic and ground reaction force data from dogs(More)
When humans and other mammals run, the body's complex system of muscle, tendon and ligament springs behaves like a single linear spring ('leg spring'). A simple spring-mass model, consisting of a single linear leg spring and a mass equivalent to the animal's mass, has been shown to describe the mechanics of running remarkably well. Force platform(More)
Muscular forces generated during locomotion depend on an animal's speed, gait, and size and underlie the energy demand to power locomotion. Changes in limb posture affect muscle forces by altering the mechanical advantage of the ground reaction force (R) and therefore the effective mechanical advantage (EMA = r/R, where r is the muscle mechanical advantage)(More)
When mammals run, the overall musculoskeletal system behaves as a single linear "leg spring". We used force platform and kinematic measurements to determine whether leg spring stiffness (k(leg)) is adjusted to accommodate changes in surface stiffness (ksurf) when humans hoop in place, a good experimental model for examining adjustments to k(leg) in bouncing(More)
Fast-moving legged animals bounce along the ground with spring-like legs and agilely traverse variable terrain. Previous research has shown that hopping and running humans maintain the same bouncing movement of the body's centre of mass on a range of elastic surfaces by adjusting their spring-like legs to exactly offset changes in surface stiffness. This(More)
Recent advances in integrative studies of locomotion have revealed several general principles. Energy storage and exchange mechanisms discovered in walking and running bipeds apply to multilegged locomotion and even to flying and swimming. Nonpropulsive lateral forces can be sizable, but they may benefit stability, maneuverability, or other criteria that(More)