Residual Force Enhancement in Humans: A Systematic Review

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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A systematic literature search was conducted to review the evidence of residual force enhancement (RFE) in vivo human muscle. The search, adhered to the PRISMA statement, of CINAHL, EBSCO, Embase, MEDLINE, and Scopus (inception—July 2017) was conducted. Full-text English articles that assessed at least 1 measure of RFE in vivo voluntarily contracted human skeletal muscle were selected. The methodologies of included articles were assessed against the Downs and Black checklist. Twenty-four studies were included (N = 424). Pooled Downs and Black scores ranked “fair” (x¯=17 [2.26]). RFE was observed in all muscles tested. Joint range of motion varied from 15° to 60°. Contraction intensities ranged from 10% to >95% maximum. Although transient force enhancement during the stretch phase may change with angular velocity, RFE in the subsequent isometric phase is independent of velocity. The magnitude of RFE was influenced by smaller stretch amplitudes and greatest at joint angles indicative of longer muscle lengths. Contraction and activation intensity influenced RFE, particularly during the initial isometric contraction phase of a poststretch isometric contraction. RFE resulted in increased torque production, reduced muscular activation, and enhanced torque production when the neuromuscular system is weakened seen in an aged population.

Chapman, Whitting, Crowley-McHattan, and Meir are with Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia. Broadbent is with the University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, QLD, Australia.

Chapman (neil.chapman@scu.edu.au) is corresponding author.
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