An investigation of the absolute strength of the human muscle was carried out on the in vivo erector spinae muscle using magnetic resonance tomography coupled with dynamic muscular testing. The absolute strength of the erector spinae was calculated to be 48 N/cm2. The area of the rectus abdominis was 15.1 cm2, and the area of the erector spinae was 54.5 cm2. The internal moment arm for the rectus abdominis and erector spinae muscles was 7.04 and 5.64 cm, respectively. The static force measures showed the trunk extensor moment to be only 30% greater than the flexor moment. The difference is discussed in terms of the absolute strength of muscle, and other anatomic factors.
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