Background: This study determined whether the knee and ankle muscle extensor forces increase when running with a body-borne load and whether these forces differ between the sexes. Methods: Thirty-six (twenty male and sixteen female) adults had the knee and ankle extensor force quantified when running 4.0 m/s with four body-borne loads (20, 25, 30, and 35 kg). Peak normalized (BW) and unnormalized (N) extensor muscle force, relative effort, and joint angle and angular velocity at peak muscle force for both the ankle and the knee were submitted to a mixed model ANOVA. Results: Significant load by sex interactions for knee unnormalized extensor force (p = 0.025) and relative effort (p = 0.040) were observed, as males exhibited greater knee muscle force and effort than females and increased their muscle force and effort with additional load. Males also exhibited greater ankle normalized and unnormalized extensor force (p = 0.004, p < 0.001) and knee unnormalized force than females (p = 0.005). The load increased the normalized ankle and knee muscle force (p < 0.001, p = 0.030) and relative effort (p < 0.001, p = 0.044) and the unnormalized knee muscle force (p = 0.009). Conclusion: Running with a load requires greater knee and ankle extensor force, but males exhibited greater increases in muscle force, particularly at the knee, than females.
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Wagers, Kade D.; Lobb, Nicholas J.; Fain, AuraLea C.; Seymore, Kayla D.; and Brown, Tyler N.. (2022). "Sex Impact on Knee and Ankle Muscle Extensor Forces During Loaded Running". Biomechanics, 2(3), 421-430. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics2030032