Change in contractile properties of human muscle in relationship to the loss of power and slowing of relaxation seen with fatigue

D. A. Jones, C. J. de Ruiterand, A. de Haan

Slow relaxation from an isometric contraction is characteristic of acutely fatigued muscle and is associated with a decrease in the maximum velocity of unloaded shortening (Vmax) and both these phenomena might be due to a decreased rate of cross bridge detachment. We have compared the change in relaxation rate with that of various parameters of the force–velocity relationship over the course of an ischaemic series of fatiguing contractions and subsequent recovery using the human adductor pollicis muscle working in vivo at approximately 37°C in nine healthy young subjects. It is concluded that for human muscle working at a normal physiological temperature the change in curvature of the force–velocity relationship with fatigue is a major cause of loss of power and may share a common underlying mechanism with the slowing of relaxation from an isometric contraction.

The Journal of Physiology, 576.3 pp 913-922

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