Voluntary and Evoked Muscle Contractile Characteristics in Active Men and Women
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Eight men and 8 women were tested for voluntary and isometric evoked contractions of the dorsiflexors. Maximal voluntary contractions were conducted isometrically (30 degrees plantarflexion) and isokinetically. Men produced greater peak torques at all but the highest isokinetic velocity. They exceeded women in measures of absolute voluntary isometric (33.8%), tetanic (46.3%), and twitch (37.9%) peak torque. Men demonstrated a higher tetanus/MVC ratio (17.8%). This ratio disparity would indicate that gender differences in peak torque in this study were more dependent upon muscle mechanisms. Although men exceeded women in measures of absolute voluntary maximum rate of torque development (MRTD) (38.7%), tetanic MRTD (39.1%), twitch MRTD (27.9%), voluntary maximum rate of torque relaxation (MRTR) (46.9%), and tetanic MRTR (41.9%), there were no significant gender differences in percentage rates of torque development or relaxation with voluntary or evoked contractions. Therefore the central and peripheral mechanisms controlling MRTD and MRTR may be similar between the sexes.
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