The aim of the study was to conduct a preliminary evaluation of consecutive maximum contractions (CMC) as a test of neuromuscular function. Eleven participants performed externally paced isometric CMC (i.e., a series of consecutive maximum force exertions and relaxations) of the quadriceps muscle. The derived variables included the peak forces, and the maximum rates of force development and relaxation. The results revealed high within-day reliability of CMC variables, while their correlations with the jumping performance were consistently higher than those of the variables of the standard strength test (SST). CMC variables also showed fairly stable values across a wide range of frequencies, while their peak force revealed a strong relationship with maximum force of SST despite being about considerably lower. Therefore, we conclude that CMC could be developed into a standard test of neuromuscular function. In addition to capturing the muscle actions based on different neural activation pattern than SST, CMC could also be based on simpler testing procedure, lower force exertion, and self-selected frequencies.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.