European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 1, pp 105–112 | Cite as

Association of muscle hardness with muscle tension dynamics: a physiological property

  • Mitsuyoshi MurayamaEmail author
  • Kotaro Watanabe
  • Ryoko Kato
  • Takanori Uchiyama
  • Tsugutake Yoneda
Original Article


This study aimed to investigate the relationship between muscle hardness and muscle tension in terms of length–tension relationship. A frog gastrocnemius muscle sample was horizontally mounted on the base plate inside a chamber and was stretched from 100 to 150% of the pre-length, in 5% increments. After each step of muscle lengthening, electrical field stimulation for induction of tetanus was applied using platinum-plate electrodes positioned on either side of the muscle submerged in Ringer’s solution. The measurement of muscle hardness, i.e., applying perpendicular distortion, was performed whilst maintaining the plateau of passive and tetanic tension. The relationship between normalised tension and normalised muscle hardness was evaluated. The length–hardness diagram could be created from the modification with the length–tension diagram. It is noteworthy that muscle hardness was proportional to passive and total tension. Regression analysis revealed a significant correlation between muscle hardness and passive and total tension, with a significant positive slope (passive tension: r = 0.986, P < 0.001; total tension: r = 0.856, P < 0.001). In conclusion, our results suggest that muscle hardness depends on muscle tension in most ranges of muscle length in the length–tension diagram.


Muscle hardness Length–tension relationship Length–hardness relationship Passive tension Active tension Muscle strength 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mitsuyoshi Murayama
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kotaro Watanabe
    • 2
  • Ryoko Kato
    • 2
  • Takanori Uchiyama
    • 2
  • Tsugutake Yoneda
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Physical EducationKeio UniversityKanagawaJapan
  2. 2.Faculty of Science and TechnologyKeio UniversityKanagawaJapan
  3. 3.School of Health and Sports ScienceJuntendo UniversityChibaJapan

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