Skeletal muscles are the motors of the neuromuscular system, and act to stiffen and change position of the joints and levers of the skeleton. Their ability to actively shorten and produce tension therefore underpins the capability to complete any form of movement. In some situations (e.g. explosive athletic events; stabilisation following a mechanical perturbation) the ability of muscles to rapidly produce force within a limited time frame is critical to movement success. This means that improving the rate of force development is often a primary target in clinical and exercise/sporting programmes. The development of strategies that facilitate the achievement of such a target requires understanding of physiological factors which influence the rate and trainability of force development, as well as the development of appropriate methods of reliably measuring explosive strength.
At the upcoming 20th Annual ECSS Congress (Malmö, 24th – 27th June) an international panel of experts will present work exploring the latest advances in current understanding of the development of explosive strength. The presented research will consider the functional relevance of measuring dynamic explosive strength and the challenges that may confound its measurement. The effects of training on the key factors influencing rate of force development will also be described and considered within the context of developing a hypothesis-driven approach for improving this feature in different populations (e.g. clinical, elderly, child, injured). In addition, proposals for future research to elucidate the relative influence of factors such as muscle anatomy and neuromuscular transmission efficiency on rate of force development will be made.
The first speaker in the session will be Jonathan Folland, Loughborough University, UK, who will discuss measurement and functional relevance of explosive muscle strength. This talk will be followed by a presentation from Anthony Blazevich, Edith Cowan University, Australia, who will discuss neuromuscular factors that influence rate of force development. The session will be completed by Nicola Maffiuletti, Schulthess Clinic, Switzerland, who will consider the influence of acute exercise and chronic physical training on rates of force development.
We hope the session will provide an opportunity for researchers, clinicians and coaches to consider fundamental mechanisms which may determine rapid force development rates, the application of this understanding to a training environment, and methods through which reliable assessment of this parameter may be achieved.
The invited session [IS-BN09] Rate of force development: new ideas on measurement, mechanisms and trainability will start 10:20 Thursday 25th June in Lecture room ”Live 1”.
Post by Emma Hodson-Tole
Manchester Metropolitan University