Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports





PubMed ID





School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Human Performance


Hooren, B. V., Aagaard, P., Monte, A., & Blazevich, A. J. (2024). The role of pennation angle and architectural gearing to rate of force development in dynamic and isometric muscle contractions. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 34(5), article e14639.


Background: Associations between muscle architecture and rate of force development (RFD) have been largely studied during fixed-end (isometric) contractions. Fixed-end contractions may, however, limit muscle shape changes and thus alter the relationship between muscle architecture an RFD. Aim: We compared the correlation between muscle architecture and architectural gearing and knee extensor RFD when assessed during dynamic versus fixed-end contractions. Methods: Twenty-two recreationally active male runners performed dynamic knee extensions at constant acceleration (2000°s−2) and isometric contractions at a fixed knee joint angle (fixed-end contractions). Torque, RFD, vastus lateralis muscle thickness, and fascicle dynamics were compared during 0–75 and 75–150 ms after contraction onset. Results: Resting fascicle angle was moderately and positively correlated with RFD during fixed-end contractions (r = 0.42 and 0.46 from 0–75 and 75–150 ms, respectively; p < 0.05), while more strongly (p < 0.05) correlated with RFD during dynamic contractions (r = 0.69 and 0.73 at 0–75 and 75–150 ms, respectively; p < 0.05). Resting fascicle angle was (very) strongly correlated with architectural gearing (r = 0.51 and 0.73 at 0–75 ms and 0.50 and 0.70 at 75–150 ms; p < 0.05), with gearing in turn also being moderately to strongly correlated with RFD in both contraction conditions (r = 0.38–0.68). Conclusion: Resting fascicle angle was positively correlated with RFD, with a stronger relationship observed in dynamic than isometric contraction conditions. The stronger relationships observed during dynamic muscle actions likely result from different restrictions on the acute changes in muscle shape and architectural gearing imposed by isometric versus dynamic muscle contractions.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.