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Use of the iso-inertial force mass relationship in the prediction of dynamic human performance


The purpose of this investigation was to develop a new test of muscle function, termed the isoinertial force-mass relationship, and to determine its relationship to dynamic physical performance in comparison to an isometric test. A group of 13 trained subjects performed an isometric, and a series of iso-inertial maximal upper body tests, in a bench press movement at loads of 30%, 60%, 100% (concentric) and 100%, 130% and 150% (eccentric) of maximum. Vertical forces exerted throughout the movement were recorded by a force plate. In addition, the subjects performed the following three performance tests: a maximal bench press, a seated shotput, and two drop bench-press throws from a height of 0.25 m, with loads of 10 kg and 30% of maximum. Correlation analysis demonstrated that in each instance the iso-inertial force mass tests were the best predictors of performance (r=0.78–0.88) with both contraction type and mass specific effects apparent. Maximal isometric force and rate of force development were significantly related to some performance variables (r=0.22–0.78). However, for all the performance movements assessed, the iso-inertial test modality recorded the highest relationship to performance. The difference in the relationship between performance and iso-inertial and isometric test modalities was particularly evident in the light load dynamic performance of the seated shotput (r=0.86 vsr=0.38, respectively). These results are explained in part by the neural and mechanical differences between iso-inertial and isometric muscle actions and their respective specificity to dynamic physical performance.

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Correspondence to Aron J. Murphy.

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Murphy, A.J., Wilson, G.J. & Pryor, J.F. Use of the iso-inertial force mass relationship in the prediction of dynamic human performance. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 69, 250–257 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01094797

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Key words

  • Muscle tests
  • Performance assessment
  • Isokinetic and isometric tests