The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the isometric muscle force, redeveloped following maximal-effort voluntary shortening contractions in human skeletal muscle, is smaller than the purely isometric muscle force at the corresponding length. Isometric knee extensor moments, surface electromyographic (EMG) signals of quadriceps femoris, and interpolated twitch moments (ITMs) were measured while 10 subjects performed purely isometric knee extensor contractions at a 60°knee angle and isometric knee extensor contractions at a 60°knee angle preceded by maximal-effort voluntary shortening of the quadriceps muscles. It was found that the knee extensor moments were significantly decreased for the isometric-shortening-isometric contractions compared with the isometric contractions for the group as a whole, whereas the corresponding EMG and ITM values were the same. This study is the first to demonstrate force depression following muscle shortening for voluntary contractions. We concluded that force depression following muscle shortening is an actual property of skeletal muscle rather than a stimulation artifact and that force depression during voluntary contraction is not accompanied by systematic changes in muscle activation as evaluated by EMG and ITM.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)