Effects of series elastic compliance on muscle force summation and the rate of force rise

Mayfield, Dean L., Cresswell, Andrew G. and Lichtwark, Glen A. (2016) Effects of series elastic compliance on muscle force summation and the rate of force rise. Journal of Experimental Biology, 219 20: 3261-3270. doi:10.1242/jeb.142604

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Author Mayfield, Dean L.
Cresswell, Andrew G.
Lichtwark, Glen A.
Title Effects of series elastic compliance on muscle force summation and the rate of force rise
Journal name Journal of Experimental Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0022-0949
Publication date 2016-08-05
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1242/jeb.142604
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 219
Issue 20
Start page 3261
End page 3270
Total pages 32
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher The Company of Biologists
Language eng
Abstract Compliant tendons permit mechanically unfavourable fascicle dynamics during fixed-end contractions. The purpose of this study was to reduce the effective compliance of tendon and investigate how small reductions in active shortening affect twitch kinetics and contractile performance in response to a second stimulus. The series elastic element (SEE) of the human triceps surae (N=15) was effectively stiffened by applying a 55 ms rotation to the ankle, through a range of 5°, at the onset of twitch and doublet [interstimulus interval (ISI) of 80 ms] stimulation. Ultrasonography was employed to quantify lateral gastrocnemius and soleus fascicle lengths. Rotation increased twitch torque (40-75%), rate of torque development (RTD, 124-154%) and torque-time integral (TTI, 70-110%) relative to constant-length contractions at the initial and final joint positions, yet caused only modest reductions in shortening amplitude and velocity. The torque contribution of the second pulse increased when stimulation was preceded by rotation, a finding unable to be explained on the basis of fascicle length or SEE stiffness during contraction post-rotation. A further increase in torque contribution was not demonstrated, nor an increase in doublet TTI, when the second pulse was delivered during rotation and shortly after the initial pulse (ISI of 10 ms). The depressant effect of active shortening on subsequent torque generation suggests that compliant tendons, by affording large length changes, may limit torque summation. Our findings indicate that changes in tendon compliance shown to occur in response to resistance training or unloading are likely sufficient to considerably alter contractile performance, particularly maximal RTD.
Keyword Muscle mechanics
Muscle force
Series elastic compliance
History-dependent properties
Rate of force development
Tendon stiffness
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 22 Aug 2016, 23:23:14 EST by Sandrine Ducrot on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences