Introduction: In this study we aimed to compare the extent of twitch potentiation (TP) after voluntary contraction and percutaneous electrical stimulation of muscles (neuromuscular electrical stimulation: NMES) with various stimulation frequencies at equivalent target levels. Methods: Isometric knee extensions of 10 s were performed at a 40% maximal voluntary contraction level by voluntary or NMES conditioning contractions at 20, 40, and 80 H Z of the quadriceps femoris muscle. Twitch responses were elicited by stimulating the femoral nerve transcutaneously at supramaximal intensity. Results: NMES at 80 HZ induced significantly less TP (128.7 ± 17.1%) than voluntary contraction (156.2 ± 23.1%), whereas no statistical difference was found in TP among voluntary and 20-and 40-H Z NMES conditioning contractions (170.8 ± 21.1% and 162.7 ± 16.9% for 20-and 40-HZ NMES, respectively). Conclusion: Stimulation frequency of NMES determines whether NMES can induce TP comparable to that after voluntary contraction.
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