Force-velocity shifts with repetitive isometric and isotonic contractions of canine gastrocnemius in situ

B. T. Ameredes, W. F. Brechue, G. M. Andrew, W. N. Stainsby

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20 Scopus citations


The force-velocity (F-V) relationships of canine gastrocnemius-plantaris muscles at optimal muscle length in situ were studied before and after 10 min of repetitive isometric or isotonic tetanic contractions induced by electrical stimulation of the sciatic nerve (200-ms trains, 50 impulses/s, 1 contraction/s). F-V relationships and maximal velocity of shortening (V(max)) were determined by curve fitting with the Hill equation. Mean V(max) before fatigue was 3.8 ± 0.2 (SE) average fiber lengths/s; mean maximal isometric tension (P(o)) was 508 ± 15 g/g. With a significant decrease of force development during isometric contractions (-27 ± 4%, P < 0.01, n = 5), V(max) was unchanged. However, with repetitive isotonic contractions at a low load (P/P(o) = 0.25, n = 5), a significant decrease in V(max) was observed (- 21 ± 2%, P < 0.01), whereas P(o) was unchanged. Isotonic contractions at an intermediate load (P/P(o) = 0.5, n = 4) resulted in significant decreases in both V(max) (-26 ± 6%, P < 0.05) and P(o) (-12 ± 2%, P < 0.01). These results show that repeated contractions of canine skeletal muscle produce specific changes in the F-V relationship that are dependent on the type of contractions being performed and indicate that decreases in other contractile properties, such as velocity development and shortening, can occur independently of changes in isometric tension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2105-2111
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Hill equation
  • fatigue
  • maximal velocity of shortening
  • power
  • shortening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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