voluntary activation


Jars of jam and muscle weakness in the morning 3

It’s 6AM. Last night, you missed dinner and you’ve woken up early because your body is ready for a feed. You stumble from your bedroom into the kitchen. You open the fridge and search for your favourite jar of jam. It’s nowhere to be found. Your partner finished it (without […]


Strength training improves the nervous system’s ability to drive muscles 2

Imagine that the New Year has just begun. You’ve made a resolution to improve your physical fitness. In particular, you want to improve your muscle strength. You’ve heard that people with stronger muscles live longer and have less difficulty standing, walking, and using the toilet when they get older (Rantanen […]


Hard and fast: Power training improves walking speed and voluntary activation in mobility-limited older adults

Muscle strength and other measures of physical function decline with age (e.g., Kenny et al. 2013).  To overcome these age-related decrements in physical function, physical exercise is recommended (e.g. American College of Sports Medicine 2009; Australian Government Department of Health 2005).  Two types of exercise that improve physical function in older adults […]


Does exercise intensity affect the susceptibility of resistance trained males to central fatigue?

The ability to activate and maintain muscle activation during movement is the one of the many jobs of the central nervous system and a break-down within this system results in motor impairment. A common acute motor impairment from exercise is fatigue which can be described as a reduction in the […]


How can you make your muscle grow longer?

Across the animal kingdom, muscles adapt to the exercise that they perform.  They can do this by changing their intrinsic capacity to generate force as well as changing their actual size, both the cross-sectional area of the muscle and the length of the muscle (e.g. Goldspink, 1985; Lynn & Morgan, […]


Fatigue-Related Pain From Distal Muscles Reduces Central Motor Drive Of Proximal Muscles Of The Same Limb

Understanding the mechanisms of fatigue provides insight into the limits of human exercise performance and diseases in which fatigue is a symptom that limits activity. Both peripheral and central mechanisms contribute to muscle fatigue. Central fatigue is defined as a progressive exercise-induced reduction in the ability to voluntarily activate a […]