Sports Medicine

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 101–116 | Cite as

Isokinetic Dynamometry

Applications and Limitations
  • V. Baltzopoulos
  • D. A. Brodie
Review Article


Isokinetic contraction is the muscular contraction that accompanies constant velocity limb movements around a joint. The velocity of movement is maintained constant by a special dynamometer. The resistance of the dynamometer is equal to the muscular forces applied throughout the range of movement. This method allows the measurement of the muscular forces in dynamic conditions and provides optimal loading of the muscles.

However, during movements in the vertical plane, the torque registered by the dynamometer is the resultant torque produced by the muscular and gravitational forces. The error depends on the angular position and the torque potential of the tested muscle group. Several methods have been developed for the correction of gravitational errors in isokinetic data.

The torque output also contains artefacts that are associated with the inertial forces during acceleration and deceleration periods before the development of the constant preset angular velocity. For an accurate assessment of muscle function, only constant velocity data should be analysed.

The most frequently used isokinetic parameters are the maximum torque and the angular position where it was recorded, the torque output at different angular velocities of movement, the torque ratio of reciprocal muscle groups and the torque output during repeated contractions.

The unique features of isokinetic dynamometry are optimal loading of the muscles in dynamic conditions and constant preselected velocity of movement. These features provide safety in the rehabilitation of patients with muscular and ligamentous injuries. Isokinetic dynamometry has also been used for the training of various muscle groups in order to improve the muscular performance in dynamic conditions. The movement velocity of different activities can be simulated during training in order to improve the training effect.

Data acquisition and analysis have been improved by using computer systems interfaced to isokinetic dynamometers. Recently developed computer systems provide correction for gravitational and inertial errors, accurate computation of isokinetic parameters and real-time display of the torque output.


Torque Knee Extensor Maximum Torque Torque Output Isokinetic Dynamometer 
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Copyright information

© ADIS Press Limited 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Baltzopoulos
    • 1
  • D. A. Brodie
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Movement Science, Physical Education and RecreationUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolEngland

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