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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2002 December;55(4):279-86

language: English

Twitch con­trac­tile prop­er­ties of plan­tar­flex­or mus­cles in ­female pow­er-­trained ath­letes

Paasuke M., Ereline J., Gapeyeva H., Torop T.

Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia


The pur­pose of the ­present ­study was to pro­vide ­detailed com­par­i­son of iso­met­ric ­twitch con­trac­tile prop­er­ties of skel­e­tal mus­cles asso­ciat­ed ­with ­post-acti­va­tion poten­ti­a­tion (PAP) ­after iso­met­ric max­i­mal vol­un­tary con­trac­tion (MVC) of ­short dura­tion in ­female pow­er-­trained ath­letes and ­untrained con­trol sub­jects.
Twitch con­trac­tile prop­er­ties ­with asso­ci­a­tion of PAP of the plan­tar­flex­or (PF) mus­cles in 11 ­female pow­er-­trained ath­letes (20.6±0.7 ­years) and 14 ­untrained uni­ver­sity stu­dents as con­trols (20.7±0.2 ­years) ­were com­pared. Subjects ­were seat­ed in a spe­cial­ly ­designed dyna­mo­met­ric ­chair. To deter­mine the con­trac­tile prop­er­ties of PF mus­cles dur­ing iso­met­ric ­twitch, the pos­te­ri­or tibi­al ­nerve in pop­li­teal fos­sa was stim­u­lat­ed by supra­max­i­mal ­square ­wave puls­es of 1 ms dura­tion. Isometric twitch­es of the plan­tar­flex­or mus­cles ­were record­ed ­before (rest­ing ­twitch) and ­after ­brief (5-s) MVC (­post acti­va­tion ­twitch).
The ­results indi­cat­ed ­that ­female pow­er-­trained ath­letes had high­er (p<0.05) val­ues of iso­met­ric MVC ­force, MVC ­force rel­a­tive to ­body ­mass, and ­post-acti­va­tion ­twitch max­i­mal ­force and max­i­mal ­rate of ­force devel­o­pment as com­pared to ­untrained wom­en. PAP in ­respect of ­increase of max­i­mal ­twitch ­force ­after MVC was ­also high­er (p<0.05) in pow­er-­trained ath­letes ­than in ­untrained sub­jects. Power-­trained ath­letes had short­er rest­ing and ­post-acti­va­tion ­twitch con­trac­tion ­time com­pared to ­untrained wom­en. No sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­enc­es in rest­ing and ­post-acti­va­tion ­twitch ­half-relax­a­tion ­time, and ­rate of relax­a­tion ­were ­found ­between the ­groups.
We con­clud­ed ­that ­female pow­er-­trained ath­letes had a great­er ­evoked ­twitch ­force-gen­er­a­tion and ­force-poten­ti­a­tion capac­ity, and ­speed of con­trac­tion in plan­tar­flex­or mus­cles com­pared to ­untrained wom­en, indi­cat­ing an adap­ta­tion of the periph­er­al ­part of the neu­ro­mus­cu­lar ­system to explo­sive ­type of ­strength train­ing. Power train­ing did not ­induce sig­nif­i­cant chang­es in ­time ­course and ­speed of mus­cle relax­a­tion in wom­en.

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