Table 3.

Length of the tendon and aponeurosis, pennation angle, fascicle length, ratio (fascicle length/tibia or femur length) and muscle thickness of the gastrocnemius medialis and vastus lateralis for all examined groups at rest

Older adults Young adults
RunnersNon-activeRunnersNon-active
Resting length GM (cm)26.8±2.727.7±2.531.7±9.929.3±3.0
Pennation angle GM (°)19.6±2.518.4±2.621.9±2.618.9±2.4
Fascicle length GM (cm)6.18±0.956.53±0.637.69±2.826.34±0.80
Ratio GM (fascicle length/tibia length)0.150±0.0240.161±0.0150.185±0.0700.152±0.018
Thickness GM (cm)1.79±0.201.73±0.242.03±0.521.90±0.12
Resting length VL (cm)33.3±1.731.8±2.530.6±7.132.5±2.0
Pennation angle VL (°)10.7±2.59.8±1.710.3±1.610.0±2.2
Fascicle length VL (cm)10.36±3.2710.61±1.5410.58±2.5911.20±2.08
Ratio VL (fascicle length/femur length)0.231±0.0720.242±0.0380.234±0.0620.248±0.052
Thickness VL (cm)2.03±0.341.78±0.302.20±0.192.02±0.22
  • GM, gastrocnemius medialis; VM, vastus lateralis.

    Values are means ± s.d.; N=20 (older runners), N=10 (older non-active subjects), N=9 (younger runners), N=10 (younger non-active subjects).

    The muscle architecture of the GM and the VL was determined at 90/180° (ankle/knee joint) and 140/115° (knee/hip joint), respectively. To determine the resting length of the GM and VL tendon and aponeurosis the joint angles were set at 110/180° (ankle/knee joint) and 130/140° (knee/hip joint) respectively.

    There was no age-by-running activity interaction for the analysed parameters (P>0.05).

  • Statistically significant differences between runners and non-active individuals (P<0.05).