Shortening-induced force depression in human adductor pollicis muscle

C J De Ruiter, A De Haan, D A Jones, A J Sargeant

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


1. The effects of single isovelocity shortening contractions on force production of the electrically stimulated human adductor pollicis muscle were investigated in seven healthy male subjects. 2. Redeveloped isometric force immediately following isovelocity shortening was always depressed compared with the isometric force recorded at the same muscle length but without preceding shortening. The maximal isometric force deficit (FD) was (mean +/- S.E.M.) 37 +/- 2% after 38 deg of shortening at 6.1 deg s-1. 3. The FD was positively correlated with angular displacement (r2 > 0.98) and decreased with increasing velocity of the shortening step. Stimulation at 20 Hz instead of 50 Hz reduced absolute force levels during the contractions to about 73% and the FD was decreased to a similar extent. Eighty-nine per cent of the velocity-related variation in the FD could be explained by the absolute force levels during shortening. 4. FD was largely abolished by allowing the muscle to relax briefly (approximately 200 ms), a time probably too short for significant metabolic recovery. 5. At all but the highest velocities there was a linear decline in force during the latter part of the isovelocity shortening phase, suggesting that the mechanisms underlying FD were active during shortening. 6. Our results show that shortening-induced force deficit is a significant feature of human muscle working in situ and is proportional to the work done by the muscle-tendon complex. This finding has important implications for experimental studies of force-velocity relationships in the intact human.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-91
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physiology - London
Volume507 ( Pt 2)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1998


  • Adult
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Hand
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Tendons
  • Clinical Trial
  • Journal Article


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