Decreased motor unit firing rate in the potentiated tibialis anterior in humans
Howard, Jon C.
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With repeated activity, force production, rate of force production, and relaxation time are impaired. These are characteristics ofa fatigued muscle (Vandenboom, 2004). However, brief bouts of near maximal to maximal activity results in the increased ability of the muscle to generate force, termed post activation potentiation (P AP)(V andervoort et aI., 1983). The purpose of the present study was to characterize motor unit firing rate (MUFR) in the unfatigued, potentiated tibialis anterior (TA). Using a quadrifilar needle electrode, MUFR was measured during a 5s 50% MVC in which the TA was either potentiated or unpotentiated; monopolar electrodes measured surface parameters. A lOs MVC was used to potentiate the muscle. Firing rate decreased significantly from 20.15±2.9Opps to 18.27±2.99pps, while mean power frequency decreased significantly from 60. 13±7.75 Hz to 53.62±8.56 Hz. No change in root mean square (RMS) was observed. Therefore, in the present study, MUFR decreases in response to a potentiated TA.