Dynamic Upper Leg Strength and Neuromuscular Function in Children, Adolescents and Adults
This study examined muscle strength, muscle performance, and neuromuscular function during contractions at different velocities across maturation stages and between sexes. Participants included pre-pubertal, late-pubertal and adult males and females. All completed 8 isometric and 8 isokinetic leg extensions at two different velocities. Peak torque (PT), rate of torque development (PrTD), electromechanical-day (EMD), rate of muscle activation (Q30), muscle activation efficiency and coactivation were determined. Sex, maturity, and velocity main effects were found in PT and PrTD, reflecting greater values in men, adults, and isometric contractions respectively. When values were normalized to quadriceps cross-sectional area (qCSA), there was still an increase with maturity. EMD decreased with maturity. Adults had greater activation efficiency than children. Overall, differences in muscle size and neuromuscular function failed to explain group differences in PT or PrTD. More research is needed to investigate why adults may be affected to a greater extent by increasing movement velocity.