Loughborough University
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Muscle co-contraction and pre-activation in knee and ankle joint during a typical Tai Chi brush-knee twist-step

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posted on 2022-01-06, 15:20 authored by Hao Yu, Jiangna Wang, Min Mao, Qipeng Song, Cui Zhang, Daniel FongDaniel Fong, Wei Sun
This study aimed to investigate the co-contraction and pre-activation of agonistic and antagonistic muscles in experienced Tai Chi (TC) practitioners during normal walking (NW) and brush-knee twist-step (BKTS). The electromyographic activities of rectus femoris, biceps femoris, and tibialis anterior and lateral gastrocnemius muscles were collected during BKTS and NW in 28 TC practitioners. The pre-activation of knee and ankle joints before initial landing of left foot, and the co-contraction of knee and ankle joint in double-stance phase I (DSI), single-stance phase (SS), double-stance phase II (DSII), and swing phase (SW) were calculated during BKTS and NW. Ankle co-contraction significantly increased during DSI and SS in BKTS movements than compared with that in NW. For DSI and SW, SS and DSII, and DSII and SW, a significant difference was found in BKTS. The pre-activation of knee joint significantly decreased in BKTS and NW. This study indicated greater ankle joint muscle co-contraction in DSI and SS of stance phase and lower knee joint muscle co-contraction and pre-activation than in NW in BKTS movement. In addition, greater ankle joint muscle co-contraction was observed in the DSI, SS, and DSII of stance phase than those of swing phase in BKTS movement


Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation (ZR2020QC091)

Youth Fund Project of Research Planning Foundation on Humanities and Social Sciences of the Ministry of Education (19YJC880083, 20YJCZH001)

China Shandong Key Research and Development Plan (2019GSF108211)



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

Research in Sports Medicine


Taylor & Francis (Routledge)


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© Taylor and Francis

Publisher statement

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Research in Sports Medicine on 26 Dec 2021, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/15438627.2021.2020788

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Dr Daniel Fong. Deposit date: 30 December 2021