Force Velocity Relationship

The amount of force a sarcomere can exert is, outside of the relative length at which it currently functions, dependant at the speed the sarcomere is contracting. Making the cross bridges necessary for contraction, evidently takes time. Logically, when the filaments are being moved at a higher velocity, less myosinheads can bind to the actin filaments at a given time and as a result total force is lower. The Force Velocity relationship can be seen in the figure below. A higher speed during a concentric contraction, results in a lower force. At speed 0, or an isometric contraction, the force is greater. When the contraction velocity turns negative and the sarcomere is stretched, also known as a eccentric contraction, the force a sarcomere increases even further. This can be explained by the force required to stretch passive structures and lengthen the muscle.

Force velocity


-Wilmore, J.H., Costill, D.L., Kenney, W.L. (2008). Structure and function of exercising muscle. Physiology of Sport and Exercise Fourth Edition. USA Human Kinetics