Musculoskeletal simulations have enabled researchers to gain insight into tasks like walking and running, but similar pipelines for cycling do not exist. Caitlin Clancy and a team of Mobilize Center researchers at Stanford University have addressed that gap–they developed a muscle-driven simulation pipeline for cycling and explored different optimization objectives. The study used the open-source OpenSim musculoskeletal simulation software and data from 16 subjects. The team found that an objective function that minimized muscle effort and tibiofemoral joint forces closely matches experimental electromyography data. The experimental data has also been shared to enable other researchers to replicate these results and further explore questions about cycling performance.

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