Revisiting a classic: Muscles, Reflexes, and Locomotion by McMahon

Douglas A. Rowen, Aaron D. Likens, Nick Stergiou

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


This chapter provides a protracted summary of McMahon’s (1984) classic text entitled Muscles, Reflexes, and Locomotion. This text has educated several generations of biomechanists. Thus we contend that revisiting this foundational text will allow the reader of this book to reconnect with the classics and develop a strong historical background of the research performed in biomechanics. It is important that we educate ourselves both in breadth and in depth. The reader will also note that, despite not being updated since the 1980s, the material we summarize broaches a number of topics with strong contemporary appeal, including coordination dynamics and robotics. The scope of McMahon’s book and his clear mastery of deep topics such as mathematics, biology, and the mechanics of animal locomotion are difficult to summarize within the pages of a single chapter. In many instances, we refer the reader to the original text for richer historical context and more in-depth treatments of difficult topics. Although the content of the book is exceptional, many important scientific discoveries have been made in the time since this book was last published. Therefore when possible and space allows, we point the reader to recent discoveries made in the intervening years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiomechanics and Gait Analysis
Number of pages76
ISBN (Electronic)9780128133729
ISBN (Print)9780128134405
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Biomechanics
  • gait
  • locomotion
  • muscles
  • reflexes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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