Human capacity for explosive force production: neural and contractile determinants.


This study assessed the integrative neural and contractile determinants of human knee extension explosive force production. Forty untrained participants performed voluntary and involuntary (supramaximally evoked twitches and octets - eight pulses at 300 Hz that elicit the maximum possible rate of force development) explosive isometric contractions of the knee extensors. Explosive force (F0-150 ms) and sequential rate of force development (RFD, 50-ms epochs) were measured. Surface electromyography (EMG) amplitude was recorded (superficial quadriceps and hamstrings, 50-ms epochs) and normalized (quadriceps to Mmax, hamstrings to EMGmax). Maximum voluntary force (MVF) was also assessed. Multiple linear regressions assessed the significant neural and contractile determinants of absolute and relative (%MVF) explosive force and sequential RFD. Explosive force production exhibited substantial interindividual variability, particularly during the early phase of contraction [F50, 13-fold (absolute); 7.5-fold (relative)]. Multiple regression explained 59-93% (absolute) and 35-60% (relative) of the variance in explosive force production. The primary determinants of explosive force changed during the contraction (F0-50, quadriceps EMG and Twitch F; RFD50-100, Octet RFD0-50; F100-150, MVF). In conclusion, explosive force production was largely explained by predictor neural and contractile variables, but the specific determinants changed during the phase of contraction.

DOI: 10.1111/sms.12131
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@article{Folland2014HumanCF, title={Human capacity for explosive force production: neural and contractile determinants.}, author={Jonathan P. Folland and Matthew W. Buckthorpe and Ricci Hannah}, journal={Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports}, year={2014}, volume={24 6}, pages={894-906} }