Neural and muscular determinants of maximal rate of force development

Jakob Lund Dideriksen, Alessandro Del Vecchio, Dario Farina

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

26 Citationer (Scopus)
62 Downloads (Pure)


The ability to produce rapid forces requires quick motor unit recruitment, high motor unit discharge rates, and fast motor unit force twitches. The relative importance of these parameters for maximum rate of force development (RFD), however, is poorly understood. In this study, we systematically investigated these relationships using a computational model of motor unit pool activity and force. Across simulations, neural and muscular properties were systematically varied in experimentally observed ranges. Motor units were recruited over an interval starting from contraction onset (range: 22-233 ms). Upon recruitment, discharge rates declined from an initial rate (range: 89 -212 pulses per second), with varying likelihood of doublet (interspike interval of 3 ms; range: 0 -50%). Finally, muscular adaptations were modeled by changing average twitch contraction time (range: 42-78 ms). Spectral analysis showed that the effective neural drive to the simulated muscle had smaller bandwidths than the average motor unit twitch, indicating that the bandwidth of the motor output, and thus the capacity for explosive force, was limited mainly by neural properties. The simulated RFD increased by 1,050 ±281% maximal voluntary contraction force per second from the longest to the shortest recruitment interval. This effect was more than fourfold higher than the effect of increasing the initial discharge rate, more than fivefold higher than the effect of increasing the chance of doublets, and more than sixfold higher than the effect of decreasing twitch contraction times. The simulated results suggest that the physiological variation of the rate by which motor units are recruited during ballistic contractions is the main determinant for the variability in RFD across individuals.

TidsskriftJournal of Neurophysiology
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)149-157
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 1 jan. 2020


Dyk ned i forskningsemnerne om 'Neural and muscular determinants of maximal rate of force development'. Sammen danner de et unikt fingeraftryk.