Rate of force development: physiological and methodological considerations


The evaluation of rate of force development during rapid contractions has recently become quite popular for characterising explosive strength of athletes, elderly individuals and patients. The main aims of this narrative review are to describe the neuromuscular determinants of rate of force development and to discuss various methodological considerations inherent to its evaluation for research and clinical purposes. Rate of force development (1) seems to be mainly determined by the capacity to produce maximal voluntary activation in the early phase of an explosive contraction (first 50–75 ms), particularly as a result of increased motor unit discharge rate; (2) can be improved by both explosive-type and heavy-resistance strength training in different subject populations, mainly through an improvement in rapid muscle activation; (3) is quite difficult to evaluate in a valid and reliable way. Therefore, we provide evidence-based practical recommendations for rational quantification of rate of force development in both laboratory and clinical settings.


Explosive strength Ballistic contraction Motor unit discharge rate Musculotendinous stiffnessStrength training Dynamometry 

Autor / Fonte:Nicola A Maffiuletti, Per Aagaard, Anthony J Blazevich, Jonathan Folland, Neale Tillin, Jacques Duchateau European Journal of Applied Physiology 2016 March 3
Link: http://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs00421-016-3346-6.pdf