Residual force enhancement in humans: a systematic review

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Chapman, N, Whitting, J, Broadbent, S, Crowley-McHattan, Z & Meir, R 2018, 'Residual force enhancement in humans: a systematic review', Journal of Applied Biomechanics, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 240-248..

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A systematic literature search was conducted to review 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). Full text English articles that assessed at least one measure of RFE in 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" (x̄ = 17 ± 2.26). RFE was observed in all muscles tested. Joint range of motion varied from 15° - 60°. Contraction intensities ranged from 10% - >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 post-stretch 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.

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