Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology
ISSN (Print): 2373-129X ISSN (Online): 2373-1303 Website: Editor-in-chief: Ahmed Al-Jumaily
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology. 2016, 4(1), 1-6
DOI: 10.12691/jbet-4-1-1
Open AccessArticle

Influence of Gender on the Activity of Agonist-Antagonist Muscles during Maximum Knee and Ankle Contractions

Manvinder Kaur1, Shilpi Mathur1, Dinesh Bhatia1, and Deepak Joshi2

1Biomedical Engineering Department, North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong, Meghalaya, India

2Department of Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Graphic Era University, Dehradun, Uttrakhand, India

Pub. Date: January 21, 2016

Cite this paper:
Manvinder Kaur, Shilpi Mathur, Dinesh Bhatia and Deepak Joshi. Influence of Gender on the Activity of Agonist-Antagonist Muscles during Maximum Knee and Ankle Contractions. Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology. 2016; 4(1):1-6. doi: 10.12691/jbet-4-1-1


Muscle mechanical energy expenditure reflects the neuro-motor strategies employed by the nervous system to analyze human locomotion tasks and is directly related to its efficiency. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of gender on the activity of agonist-antagonist muscles during maximum knee and ankle contraction in males (n1=10) and females (n2=10) adult population. Different movements of knee and ankle used for the maximum contractions were knee flexion and extension, ankle plantar flexion and dorsiflexion. The agonist-antagonist muscles considered for the study were Rectus femoris (Quadriceps Muscle group), Biceps femoris (Hamstring Muscle group), Tibialis Anterior and Soleus. The statistical analysis applied was post hoc analysis to determine least significant differences among the male and female groups. The different groups for classifying these movements were Female Dominant Leg (FDL), Female Non Dominant Leg (FNDL), Male Dominant Leg (MDL) and Male Non Dominant Leg (MNDL). The results showed no significant differences (p≥0.1) in the muscle energy expenditure for different lower limb activities among gender. In addition to this, knee flexion was found to be the activity with minimum energy expenditure in healthy males and females. Active agonist-antagonist muscle pairs during knee and ankle contractions were found to have minimum mechanical energy expenditure. This study is a part of a larger intervention study that is being carried out for designing feedback based FES devices.

energy expenditure maximum contraction gender

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Albert WJ, Wrigler AT, McLean RB, Sleivert GG. Sex Differences in the Rate of Fatigue Development and Recovery. Dynamic Medicine: BioMed Central,10:1-10, 2005.
[2]  Aleshinsky, SY. An energy sources and fractions approach to the mechanical energy expenditure problem-I. Basic concepts, description of the model, analysis of a one-link system movement. J. Biomechanics. 19:281-293, 1986a.
[3]  Aleshinsky, SY. An energy sources and fractions approach to the mechanical energy expenditure problem-II. Movement of the multi-link chain model, J. Biomechanics, 19:287-293, 1986b.
[4]  Basmajian JV, De Luca CJ. Muscle Alive: Their Function Revealed by Electromyography. Baltimore: Willians & Wilkins, pp.201-222, 1985.
[5]  Bilodeau M, Schindler-Ivens SJ, Williams DM, Chandran R and Sharma SS. EMG frequency content changes with increasing force and during fatigue in the quadriceps femoris muscle of men and women. J. Electromyogr. Kinesiol., 13(1):83-92, 2003.
[6]  Blake OM & Wakeling JM. Estimating changes in metabolic power from EMG. Springer Plus, 2, 2013.
[7]  Browning RC, Baker EA, Herron JA, Kram R. Effects of obesity and sex on the energetic cost and preferred speed of walking. Journal of Applied Physiology, 100:390-398, 2005.
[8]  Garfinkel S, Cafarelli E. Relative changes in maximal force, EMG, and muscle cross-sectional area after isometric training. Medice and Science in Sports and Exercise, 24:1220-27, 1992.
[9]  Gerdle B, Karlsson S, Crenshaw AG, Elert J, Fride J. The influences of muscle fibre proportions and areas upon EMG during maximal dynamic knee extensions. Eur J Appl Physiol, 81: 2-10, 2000.
[10]  Gough JV, Ladley G. An investigation into the effectiveness of various forms of quadriceps exercises. Physiotherapy, 57:356-361, 1971.
[11]  Kent-Braun JA, Ng AV, Doyle JW, Towse TF. Human skeletal muscle responses vary with age and gender during fatigue due to incremental isometric exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 93(5): 1813-1823, 2002.
[12]  Konard P. The ABC of EMG: A Practical Introduction to Kinesiological Electromyography. Noraxon Inc. USA, version 1.0 April 2005.
[13]  Lehmann M, Fourneir A. et. al. Inactivation of Rho signaling pathway promotes CNS axon regeneration. Journal of Neuroscience, 19: 7537-7547, 1999.
[14]  Mathur S, Eng JJ, MacIntyre DL. Reliability of surface EMG during sustained contractions of the quadriceps. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, 15:102-110, 2005.
[15]  Morio B, Beaufrere B, Montaurier C. et. al. Gender differences in energy expended during activities and in daily energy expenditure of elderly people. American Journal of Physiology, 273:321-327, 1997.
[16]  Pincivero DM, Campy RM, Salfetnikov Y. et. al. Influence of contraction intensity, muscle, and gender on median frequency of the quadriceps femoris. J. Appl. Physiol., 90(3):804-810, 2001.
[17]  Rodrigo S, Gracia I, Franco M. et. al. Energy expenditure during human gait II- Role of muscle groups. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 4858-4861, 2010.
[18]  Sasaki K, Neptune RR. Muscle mechanical work and elastic energy utilization during walking and running near the preferred gait transition speed. Gait & Posture, 23: 383–390, 2006.
[19]  Seniam: European recommendations for surface electromyography. Roessingh Research and Development, Enschede, Holland, 1999.
[20]  Signorile JF, Kacsik D, Perry A, Roberson B, Williams R. The effect of knee and foot position on the electromyographical activity of the superficial quadriceps. J. Orthop Sport Phys Ther, 22:2-9, 1995.
[21]  Sparrow WA & Newell KM. Metabolic energy expenditure and the regulation of movement economy. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 5:173-196, 1998.
[22]  Winter D. Biomechanics and motor control of human movement. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 4th Ed., 2009.
[23]  Zelik KE, Kuo AD. Mechanical work as an indirect measure of subjective costs influencing human movement. PLoS One, 7, 2012.