During range of motion (max-ROM) tests performed on an isokinetic dynamometer, the mechanical delay between the button press (by the participant to signal their max-ROM) and the stopping of joint rotation resulting from system inertia induces errors in both max-ROM and maximum passive joint moment. The present study aimed to quantify these errors by comparing data when max-ROM was obtained from the joint position data, as usual (max-ROMPOS), to data where max-ROM was defined as the first point of dynamometer arm deceleration (max-ROMACC). Fifteen participants performed isokinetic ankle joint max-ROM tests at 5, 30 and 60°·s-1. Max-ROM, peak passive joint moment, end range musculo-articular (MAC) stiffness and area under the joint moment-position curve were calculated. Greater max-ROM was observed in max-ROMPOS than max-ROMACC (P < 0.01) at 5 (0.2 ± 0.15%), 30 (1.8 ± 1.0%) and 60°·s-1 (5.9 ± 2.3%), with the greatest error at the fastest velocity. Peak passive moment was greater and end-range MAC stiffness lower in max-ROMPOS than in max-ROMACC only at 60°·s-1 (P < 0.01), whilst greater elastic energy storage was found at all velocities. Max-ROM and peak passive moment are affected by the delay between button press and eventual stopping of joint rotation in an angular velocity-dependent manner. This affects other variables calculated from the data. When high data accuracy is required, especially at fast joint rotation velocities (≥30°·s-1), max-ROM (and associated measures calculated from joint moment data) should be taken at the point of first change in acceleration rather than at the dynamometer’s ultimate joint position.
- Muscle stiffness
- Muscle stretching