European Journal of Applied Physiology vol:86 issue:3 pages:251-7
The effect of 2 weeks immobilization of the uninjured right knee and 10 weeks of retraining on muscle torque-velocity characteristics was investigated in nine young subjects. Left and right knee extension and flexion maximal voluntary isometric torque (Tmax) and dynamic torque at 60 degrees s(-1) (T60) and 180 degrees x s(-1) (T180) were measured before (PRE) and after immobilization (POST) and after 3 (R3) and 10 (R10) weeks of dynamic retraining. The torque-velocity relationship was quantified by expressing T60 and T180 relative to Tmax (NT60 and NT180, respectively). For the right extensor muscles, percutaneous biopsy samples were obtained from the vastus lateralis muscle and fibre type distribution was measured. POST extension and flexion torque (mean of Tmax, T60 and T180) decreased by 27% and 11%, respectively. During the course of the experiment, the changes in NT60 and NT180 were similar. POST extensor muscle NTV (mean of NT60 and NT180) was decreased significantly (12%, P<0.05), but no significant change was found for flexor muscle NTV (+ 3%). At R3 Tmax, dynamic torque and NTV were restored to normal. Unlike isometric torque, NTV did not change from R3 to R10. No changes in fibre type distribution were found. The adaptation of muscle length is suggested as the mechanism to explain the change in NTV.