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Disproportionate changes in skeletal muscle strength and size with resistance training and ageing.

Degens, Hans and Erskine, Robert M. and Morse, Christopher I. (2009) Disproportionate changes in skeletal muscle strength and size with resistance training and ageing. Journal of musculoskeletal & neuronal interactions, 9 (3). pp. 123-9. ISSN 1108-7161

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Abstract

The ability of a muscle to shorten and produce force is crucial for locomotion, posture, balance and respiration. During a contraction, myosin heads on the myosin filament propel the actin filament via ATP hydrolysis, resulting in shortening of the muscle and/or force generation. The maximal shortening velocity of a muscle fibre is largely determined by the myosin ATPase activity, while maximal force is primarily determined by the cross-sectional area. Since most muscles are pennate rather than parallel-fibred and work at different lever ratios, muscle architecture and joint-tendon anatomy has to be taken into account to obtain the force and velocity characteristics of a muscle. Additionally, the recruitment of agonistic and antagonistic muscles will contribute to the torque generated during a contraction. Finally, tendon compliance may impact on the rate of force rise and force generated if it is such that the muscle contraction proceeds in the ascending limb of the length-tension relation. Even when magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound, combined with EMG and/or electrical stimulation, have been applied to relate changes in muscle contractile properties to alterations in muscle size and architecture during ageing and resistance training, a disproportionate change in muscle strength and size remains to be explained.

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