An evaluation of different protocols for measuring the force-velocity relationship of the human quadriceps muscles

James, C., Sacco, P., Hurley, M. V. and Jones, D. A. (1994) An evaluation of different protocols for measuring the force-velocity relationship of the human quadriceps muscles. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 68(1), pp. 41-47. ISSN (print) 1439-6319

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A modified Cybex II isokinetic dynamometer was used to evaluate the problems associated with measuring the concentric force-velocity characteristics of human knee extensor muscles. Three contraction protocols were investigated, simple voluntary contractions (VC); releases from maximal voluntary isometric contractions (VR) and releases from isometric femoral nerve stimulated contractions (FNR). Percutaneous stimulation of the quadriceps was unsuitable for dynamic contractions as the proportion of the muscle activated varied with the angle of knee flexion. Isometric length-tension relationships and isokinetic contractions at seven angular velocities between 0.5 and 5.2 rad.s-1 were recorded in five subjects. During isometric and slow dynamic contractions the voluntary forces were often greater than those obtained by femoral nerve stimulation, probably due to subjects stretching the rectus femoris during voluntary manoeuvres. It was found that the VC protocol produced acceptable isokinetic force recordings only at velocities below 3.1 rad.s-1 in most subjects whilst VR contractions resulted in unexpectedly low forces at velocities below 1.57 rad.s-1. Of the three techniques employed, FNR, although uncomfortable for subjects, provided the most accurate and reliable method of measuring force-velocity characteristics of knee extensor muscles. FNR contractions produced a force-velocity curve which showed a smooth decline in force with increasing velocity up to 5.2 rad.s-1. VC contractions appear to be an acceptable alternative for testing the muscles provided the angular velocity is less than 3.1 rad.s-1 and the subjects can be prevented from stretching the rectus femoris during the movement.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Allied health professions and studies
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Health and Social Care Sciences (until 2013)
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Depositing User: Katrina Clifford
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2010 10:37
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2010 10:37

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