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Mechanics of Single Fiber Contraction II

How does the force applied on a muscle affect its performance?Imagine you are riding a mountain bike (or other bike with multiple gears). When you are riding on level ground you use a high gear which requires more force to pedal. When you go up a hill you switch to a lower gear. Bicycle gears exist because of the properties of our muscles. The greater the force working against a muscle, the more slowly the muscle contracts. Muscles cannot achieve maximum tension instantly following a stimulus, the tension builds up over time. The greater the force applied against muscle contraction, the longer it will take for contraction to occur.

View the animation below, then complete the quiz to test your knowledge of the concept.






1For an isometric muscle fiber contraction...
A)the contraction phase is the longest phase.
B)the relaxation phase is the longest phase.
C)the latent phase is the longest phase.
D)the distance that the muscle fiber shortens is inversely proportional to the mass of the load.
E)the shortening velocity of a muscle fiber is inversely proportional to the mass of the load.



2For an isotonic muscle fiber contraction...
A)the muscle fiber length remains constant as the muscle tension changes.
B)the muscle tension remains constant as the muscle fiber length changes.
C)the muscle tension remains constant and the muscle fiber length remains constant as well.
D)the muscle tension changes and the muscle fiber length changes as well.
E)the muscle tension is directly proportional to the muscle fiber length.



3For an isometric muscle fiber contraction...
A)the muscle fiber length remains constant as the muscle tension changes.
B)the muscle tension remains constant as the muscle fiber length changes.
C)the muscle tension remains constant and the muscle fiber length remains constant as well.
D)the muscle tension changes and the muscle fiber length changes as well.
E)the muscle tension is directly proportional to the muscle fiber length.



4For isotonic contractions, the distance that the muscle fiber shortens is inversely proportional to the mass of the load.
A)True
B)False



5For isotonic contractions, the shortening velocity of a muscle fiber is inversely proportional to the mass of the load.
A)True
B)False







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