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J Appl Physiol. 1976 Jan;40(1):12-6.

Force-velocity relations and fiber composition in human knee extensor muscles.


Standardized measurements of dynamic strength of the kneee extensor muscles were performed in 25 healthy male subjects (17-37 yr) by means of isokinetic contractions, i.e., knee extensions with constant angular velocities. Overall variation between double determinations of maximal torque throughout the 90 degrees arc of motion (0 degrees = fully extended leg) averaged 10% for the different constant velocities chosen. At any given angle of the knee the torque produced was higher for isometric than for dynamic contractions. Dynamic torque decreased gradually with increased speed of shortening. Peak dynamic torque was reached at knee angles in the range: 55-66 degrees, with a displacement toward smaller knee angles with higher angular velocities. Correlations were demonstrated between peak torque produced at the highest speed of muscle shortening and percent as well as relative area of fast twitch fibers in the contracting muscle. In addition muscles with a high percentage of fast twitch fibers had the highest maximal contraction speeds. These observations on intact human skeletal muscle are consistent with earlier findings in animal skeletal muscle preparations.

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