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  • Author: Aleksandar Nedeljkovic x
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Evaluation of Consecutive Maximum Contractions as a Test of Neuromuscular Function

Evaluation of Consecutive Maximum Contractions as a Test of Neuromuscular Function

The aim of the study was to conduct a preliminary evaluation of consecutive maximum contractions (CMC) as a test of neuromuscular function. Eleven participants performed externally paced isometric CMC (i.e., a series of consecutive maximum force exertions and relaxations) of the quadriceps muscle. The derived variables included the peak forces, and the maximum rates of force development and relaxation. The results revealed high within-day reliability of CMC variables, while their correlations with the jumping performance were consistently higher than those of the variables of the standard strength test (SST). CMC variables also showed fairly stable values across a wide range of frequencies, while their peak force revealed a strong relationship with maximum force of SST despite being about considerably lower. Therefore, we conclude that CMC could be developed into a standard test of neuromuscular function. In addition to capturing the muscle actions based on different neural activation pattern than SST, CMC could also be based on simpler testing procedure, lower force exertion, and self-selected frequencies.

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Is Test Standardization Important when Arm and Leg Muscle Mechanical Properties are Assessed Through the Force‐Velocity Relationship?

Abstract

The force‐velocity (F‐V) relationship observed in multi‐joint tasks proved to be strong and approximately linear. Recent studies showed that mechanical properties of muscles: force (F), velocity (V) and power (P) could be assessed through the F‐V relationship although the testing methods have not been standardized. The aim of the present study was to evaluate and compare F‐V relationships assessed from two tests performed on a modified Smith machine that standardizes kinematics of the movement pattern. Fifteen participants were tested on the maximum performance bench press throws and squat jumps performed against a variety of different loads. In addition, their strength properties were assessed through maximum isometric force (Fiso) and one repetition maximum (1 RM). The observed individual F‐V relationships were exceptionally strong and approximately linear (r = 0.98 for bench press throws; r = 0.99 for squat jumps). F‐V relationship parameter depicting maximum force (F0) revealed high correlations with both Fiso and 1 RM indicating high concurrent validity (p < 0.01). However, the generalizability of F‐V relationship parameters depicting maximum force (F0), velocity (V0) and power (P0) of the tested muscle groups was inconsistent and on average low (i.e. F0; r = ‐0.24) to moderate (i.e. V0 and P0; r = 0.54 and r = 0.64, respectively; both p < 0.05). We concluded that the F‐V relationship could be used for the assessment of arm and leg muscle mechanical properties when standard tests are applied, since the typical outcome is an exceptionally strong and linear F‐V relationship, as well as high concurrent validity of its parameters. However, muscle mechanical properties could be only partially generalized across different tests and muscles.

Open access