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The length-tension relations of two bicompartmental muscles, including parallel and pennated fibers, were experimentally determined for isometric and load moving contractions. Comparison of the isometric and constant mass load length-tension curves obtained from the same preparations demonstrated significant reductions in force, a shift of the optimal length and increased elongation range for shortening contractions under constant mass load. Pennated muscle demonstrated a larger reduction in force and greater shift in the optimal length relative to the changes in a muscle with parallel fibers. A bicompartmental model was fitted to the experimental data to provide quantitative insight to the changes described above, and for use in mathematical models of other bicompartmental muscles, and for design of optimal electrical stimulation system for restoration of function in spinal cord injury patients.