An electromechanical device for assessing muscle torque throughout the full range of a joint movement and at a set speed of movement. The advantage of an isokinetic dynamometer is that the controlled speed of movement allows the exertion of muscle force throughout the entire range of movement, more closely replicating real-life body movements than a typical weight-lifting exercise. The dynamometer unit comprises a rotating arm with a speed-controlling mechanism and associated microprocessor-controlled data collection, analysis, and display equipment. Specialized attachments allow the unit to be placed alongside a chair or bench in order to measure muscle performance during a wide range of movements of the ankle, knee, hip, back, shoulder, and elbow. The rotation speed of the unit's main axle can be preset and when the athlete attempts to rotate the device a servomechanism imposes a resistance so however much force the athlete imposes the rate of rotation is constant. Isokinetic dynamometry is particularly useful in the assessment and rehabilitation of athletes after joint injury or surgery such as cruciate ligament repair in the knee. See also dynamometer; resistance training.
Subjects: Sport and Leisure.