When assessing neuromuscular function, standard strength tests are typically based on long-lasting (~3-5 s) maximum contractions providing the maximum force and, occasionally, the maximum rate of force development. However, the same tests do not sufficiently capture neural stimulation phenomena that dominate rapid discrete or consecutive actions of antagonistic muscle groups, or postural corrections, while requiring maximum contractions that could be inappropriate for some populations. As a result, the standard tests have demonstrated inconsistent and, on average, low external validity when used to predict functional movement performance in both healthy and various patient populations. The main aim of this proposal is to evaluate two novel protocols for evaluating neuromuscular function based on the mechanical output of short-lasting isometric muscular contractions. The reliability (for monitoring interventions over days/weeks), validity (regarding their relevance for predicting functional performance) and generalizability (regarding the generalization across different muscle groups of the same individual) of new protocols will be evaluated. The results are expected to provide a basis for further development of the evaluated protocols into standard tests of neuromuscular function. Subsequent research would then be proposed to more thoroughly investigate sensitivity of the dependent variables, to detect differences among various populations (e.g., healthy individuals vs. neurological patients, unilaterally affected extremities, different age groups) and evaluate the effects of various interventions.

Public Health Relevance

In the typical assessment of neuromuscular function standard strength tests are based on the ability to exert long lasting maximal contractions. The relevance of such tests, regarding many daily movement tasks is limited, and the sustained exertion of maximum forces is inappropriate for some populations. The goal of this project to evaluate two novel testing protocols based on short lasting submaximal and maximal contractions that could provide a valid assessment of neuromuscular abilities relevant for a variety of everyday tasks in various subject populations.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Sciences Study Section (MRS)
Program Officer
Nuckolls, Glen H
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of Delaware
Other Health Professions
Schools of Allied Health Profes
United States
Zip Code
Jaric, Slobodan (2016) Two-Load Method for Distinguishing Between Muscle Force, Velocity, and Power-Producing Capacities. Sports Med 46:1585-1589
Mandic, Radivoj; Jakovljevic, Sasa; Jaric, Slobodan (2015) Effects of countermovement depth on kinematic and kinetic patterns of maximum vertical jumps. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 25:265-72
Cuk, Ivan; Markovic, Milos; Nedeljkovic, Aleksandar et al. (2014) Force-velocity relationship of leg extensors obtained from loaded and unloaded vertical jumps. Eur J Appl Physiol 114:1703-14
Markovic, Srdjan; Mirkov, Dragan M; Nedeljkovic, Aleksandar et al. (2014) Body size and countermovement depth confound relationship between muscle power output and jumping performance. Hum Mov Sci 33:203-10
Knezevic, Olivera M; Mirkov, Dragan M; Kadija, Marko et al. (2014) Asymmetries in explosive strength following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Knee 21:1039-45
Prebeg, Goran; Cuk, Ivan; Suzovic, Dejan et al. (2013) Relationships among the muscle strength properties as assessed through various tests and variables. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 23:455-61
Bozic, Predrag R; Celik, Ozgur; Uygur, Mehmet et al. (2013) Evaluation of novel tests of neuromuscular function based on brief muscle actions. J Strength Cond Res 27:1568-78
Bellumori, Maria; Jaric, Slobodan; Knight, Christopher A (2013) Age-related decline in the rate of force development scaling factor. Motor Control 17:370-81
Pazin, Nemanja; Berjan, Bobana; Nedeljkovic, Aleksandar et al. (2013) Power output in vertical jumps: does optimum loading depend on activity profiles? Eur J Appl Physiol 113:577-89
Leontijevic, Bojan; Pazin, Nemanja; Bozic, Predrag R et al. (2012) Effects of loading on maximum vertical jumps: Selective effects of weight and inertia. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 22:286-93

Showing the most recent 10 out of 11 publications