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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 6783824, 10 pages
Research Article

Measurement of Gender Differences of Gastrocnemius Muscle and Tendon Using Sonomyography during Calf Raises: A Pilot Study

1The School of Biological Science & Medical Engineering, Southeast University, Jiangsu, China
2Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong

Correspondence should be addressed to Guang-Quan Zhou

Received 16 August 2017; Revised 28 November 2017; Accepted 10 December 2017; Published 31 December 2017

Academic Editor: Danilo S. Bocalini

Copyright © 2017 Guang-Quan Zhou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Skeletal muscles are essential to the gender-specific characteristics of human movements. Sonomyography, a new signal for quantifying muscle activation, is of great benefit to understand muscle function through monitoring the real-time muscle architectural changes. The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate gender differences in the architectural changes of gastronomies muscle and tendon by using sonomyography during performing two-legged calf raising exercises. A motion analysis system was developed to extract sonomyography from ultrasound images together with kinematic and kinetic measurements. Tiny fascicle length changes among seven male subjects were observed at the initial part of calf raising, whereas the fascicle of seven female subjects shortened immediately. This result suggested that men would generate higher mechanical power output of plantar flexors to regulate their heavier body mass. In addition, the larger regression coefficient between the fascicle length and muscle force for the male subjects implied that higher muscle stiffness for the men was required in demand of maintaining their heavier body economically. The findings from the current study suggested that the body mass might play a factor in the gender difference in structural changes of muscle and tendon during motion. The sonomyography may provide valuable information in the understanding of the gender difference in human movements.