Thursday, 26 November 2009

PASSIVE/ACTIVE insufficiency

Passive Insufficiency - Occurs with 2 joint muscles and refers to the fact that these muscles cannot stretch maximally across both joints at the same time!

Example: Hamstrings may limit hip flexion when the knee is in full extension since they are maximally stretched in this position.

However... If the knee is flexed passively then the hip will be able to flex further - because the stretch on the hamstrings has been slackened.

Active Insufficiency - 2 joint muscles cannot contract maximally across both joints at the same time!

Example: Make a fist (finger flexors) you can make a strong fist when your wrist is in a neutral of slightly extended position. But when you flex your wrist with a clenched fist you loose some of the grip. This is because the finger flexors are unable to shorten any more than they have and so begin to extend and lose grip strength.


  1. Hi Jay,

    I just found your site. It's great. Hope you can find the time to keep it up. I am a new blogger (1 year), which I entered due to my abdominal aortic aneurysm, but now I do it for fun and down the road income (early days). I used a figure from your site for tomorrow's post (they come out each day at 6:00 am). It is the stretch reflex diagram. Hope you don't mind. I did link it to your site, which I recommended, and I'll do the same on the other media I follow.

    Hope you are well.

    Thanks again.

    -k @FitOldDog

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