Friday, April 3, 2009
The Biarticular Muscles
The biarticular muscles are very important when it comes to sprinting and in sport in general. Biarticular refers to the muscles spanning more then one joint. One joint muscle being monoarticular. In the legs the most important biarticular muscles are the hamstrings, rectus femoris of the quadricep group and the gastrocnemius. In the upperbody the biceps brachi and triceps brachi would be equivalent.
Biarticular muscles are important as they transfer energy from one joint to another. If all the muscles were monoarticular they would be ineffeciant as much of the energy would be thermal energy as they would have to work eccentrically. So these biarticular muscles transfer the energy generated by the monoarticular muscles. The rectus femoris slows down hip extension and converts it to knee extension. The hamstrings slows down knee extension and converts it to hip extension. The gastroc slows down knee extension and converts into planterflexion at the ankle joint.
The big energy generators in sprinting are the monoarticular muscles Glute max and the Quadricep group. So these should be trained for concentric power! The biarticular muscles are what transfers that energy into effeciant movement. So they should be trained with multiple movements not just concentrically. So needless to say the leg curl should be the last piece of equipment the athlete should be on.