Force-velocity and force-length relations were obtained for the edl of four Wistar rats in order to characterise the contractile properties (CE) of these muscle-tendon complexes. Compliances of the undamped part of the series components (SE) were measured in quick length decreases. Force-extension relations of SEs were obtained by integration of compliance to force. A muscle model consisting of CE, SE and a visco-elastic element was used to simulate the force output of the muscle tendon complex in response to a changing muscle length lOI as input. This simulated force was compared with the experimental force of the same muscle measured in response to the same lOI as input. Tetanic contractions were used in all experiments. The results show that this muscle model can predict the experimental force within a mean maximal error not larger than approximately 14% of the force amplitude. However the comparison of simulated force with experimental force and a few additional experiments show that the muscles do not have a unique instantaneous force-velocity characteristic. As shown by several other studies, force seems to be influenced by many other variables (time, history etc.) than CE length and velocity.