Muscle strength and the complexity of human movement




Reductionist approach, Complex approach, Performance


The mechanisms that influence the ability to produce muscle force are to be found not only in structural or biomechanical elements, but also in factors inherent to inter and intramuscular control and coordination. In the execution of the motor gesture, the body, functioning as a system, produces a quantity of force which, to be effective for the intended purposes, must be managed and integrated by the nervous system. The various expressions of force must be considered in relation to the function. Too often, motor and sports training specialists focus on the development of strength in a rigid and standardized way, following pre-established patterns for every need. The objective of the study is to increase the knowledge of the characteristics that distinguish the different types of force expression through an approach that emphasizes their functionality. Through the PRISMA method, search engines (PubMed, Google Scholar, Scopus, PMCfreearticle, CrossRef). In conclusion, the study provides an alternative interpretation of the force that is expressed in different ways in relation to the purpose, leaving out, for this reason, reductionist classifications, not very applicable to biological systems.


Download data is not yet available.


Altavilla, G., Raiola, G. (2019). A brief review on physiological commitment in basketball: An interpretative key. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 14, pp. S59-S65.

Antonio, J., & Gonyea, W. J. (1993). Skeletal muscle fiber hyperplasia. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 25(12), 1333-1345.

Bourbousson, J., Seve, C., McGarry, T. (2010). Space-time coordination dynamics in basketball: Part 2. The interaction between the two teams. Journal of Sports Sciences, 28, 349:358.

Cataldi, S., Francavilla, V.C., Bonavolontà, V., De Florio, O., Carvutto, R., De Candia, M., Latino, F., Fischetti, F. (2021). Proposal for a fitness program in the school setting during the covid 19 pandemic: Effects of an 8-week crossfit program on psychophysical well-being in healthy adolescents,International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (6), art. no. 3141, pp. 1-12.

D'Isanto, T., D'Elia, F., Raiola, G., Altavilla, G. (2019). Assessment of sport performance: Theoretical aspects and practical indications. Sport Mont, 17 (1), pp. 79-82.

Bizzi, E., & Cheung, V. C. (2013). The neural origin of muscle synergies. Frontiers in computational neuroscience, 7, 51.

Bompa, T. O., & Buzzichelli, C. (2018). Periodization-: theory and methodology of training. Human kinetics.

Bosch, B. (2015) Strength training and coordination: an integrative approach, Uitgevers.

Carroll TJ, Riek S, Carson RG. (2001). Neural adaptations to resistance training: implications for movement control. Sports Med., 31(12):829-40.

Caruana L. (2000). Holism and the Understanding of Science, Hants, Ashgate Publishing.

De Angelis, V. (1996). La logica della complessità: introduzione alla teoria dei sistemi, Milano, Bruno Mondadori.

Du Coteau, M. B., & Pefferkorn, M. (1924). L'entraînement sportif. E. Flammarion.

Fleishman, E. A. (1956). Psychomotor selection tests: Research and application in the United States Air Force. Personnel Psychology.

Fleishman, E. A. (1957). A comparative study of aptitude patterns in unskilled and skilled psychomotor performances. Journal of Applied Psychology, 41(4), 263.

Fleishman, E. A. (1975). Toward a taxonomy of human performance. American Psychologist, 30(12), 1127.

Folland, J. P., & Williams, A. G. (2007). Morphological and neurological contributions to increased strength. Sports medicine, 37(2), 145-168.

Gundlach, H. (1968). Systembeziehungen körperlicher Fähigkeiten und Fertigkeiten. Theorie und praxis der koerperkultur, 17(2), 198-205.

Henry, F. M. (1958). Specificity vs generality in learning motor skills. Proc Coll Phys Educ Assoc, 61, 126-128.

Henry, F. M. (1959). Reliability, measurement error, and intra-individual difference. Research Quarterly. American Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 30(1), 21-24.

Henry, F. M. (1961). Reaction time-movement time correlations. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 12(1), 63-66.

Hebert, G., (1912). L'éducation physique ou l'entrainement complet par la méthode naturelle. Published in Librairie Vuibert Paris, 85 pp.

Hebert, G., (1913). La Culture Virile et les Devoirs Physiques de L'Officier Combattant. Published in Lib Vuilbert Paris, 152 pp.

Hebert, G., (1919). C'est la vie, un grand respect au Renzamen. Published in Librairie Vuibert Paris, 96 pp.

Heylighen F, Cilliers P, Gershenson C (2007). Complexity and philosophy. In Complexity, Science and Society, J Bogg, R Geyer (eds). Oxford, UK: Radcliffe.

Kelso, J. A. S. (1995). Dynamic patterns: The self-organization of brain and behavior. MIT Press.

Mazzocchi, F. (2008). Complexity in biology: exceeding the limits of reductionism and determinism using complexity theory. EMBO reports, 9(1), 10-14.

Santos, P. D., Vaz, J. R., Correia, P. F., Valamatos, M. J., Veloso, A. P., & Pezarat-Correia, P. (2021). Intermuscular Coordination in the Power Clean Exercise: Comparison between Olympic Weightlifters and Untrained Individuals-A Preliminary Study. Sensors, 21(5), 1904.

Schmidt, R., & Lee, T. (2019). Motor Learning and Performance 6th Edition with Web Study Guide-Loose-Leaf Edition: From Principles to Application. Human Kinetics Publishers.

Suchomel, T. J., Nimphius, S., Bellon, C. R., & Stone, M. H. (2018). The importance of muscular strength: training considerations. Sports medicine, 48(4), 765-785.

Taylor, N. A., & Wilkinson, J. G. (1986). Exercise-Induced Skeletal Muscle Growth Hypertrophy or Hyperplasia? Sports Medicine, 3(3), 190-200.

Von Bertalanffy, L. (1993). General system theory: Foundations, development, applications (No. BOOK). Georges Braziller, Inc.

Wallace, B. J., Shapiro, R., Wallace, K. L., Abel, M. G., & Symons, T. B. (2019). Muscular and neural contributions to postactivation potentiation. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 33(3), 615-625.

Weineck, J. (2009). L'allenamento ottimale (The optimal training). Perugia, IT: Calzetti e Mariucci.


Statistics RUA



How to Cite

Di Domenico, F., & Raiola, G. (2021). Muscle strength and the complexity of human movement. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 16(3proc), S1481-S1490.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 3 4 5 > >>