Cardiomyoplasty, or the use of skeletal muscle to assist the failing heart, has been studied for many years but has enjoyed only minimal success. It has been suggested that a delay in the start of skeletal muscle contraction relative to the QRS complex would enhance aortic flow. To study the effects of simulated changes in the relative timing of skeletal muscle contraction, heart rate and skeletal muscle contraction duration, a mathematical model was used to predict the vascular pressures and flows during cardiomyoplasty. The vascular pressures and cardiac output generated by the model for both the normal and heart failure state were similar to previously published canine data. Skeletal muscle contraction synchronous with cardiac mechanical systole (i.e., delayed approximately 50-75 ms from the QRS) was able to provide improvements in cardiac output, arterial blood pressure and aortic flow velocity up to 40% over the baseline heart failure state. A delay in the start of skeletal muscle contraction, prolonged skeletal muscle contraction duration or an increase in the heart rate from 90 to 120/min reduced this benefit. Thus, mechanical synchrony of skeletal and cardiac muscle contraction optimizes hemodynamics during cardiomyoplasty.