The enlistment of different numbers and types of muscle fibre during the contraction of a whole muscle. Recruitment follows a set pattern: slow-twitch fibres are brought into action first, then fast twitch a fibres (fast oxidative glycolytic FOG), and finally fast twitch b fibres (fast glycolytic or FG fibres). The level of recruitment is generally determined by the force demanded of a muscle. However, even during maximal efforts, the nervous system does not usually recruit all the available fibres. Normally, only a fraction of muscle fibres are stimulated at any specific time. This prevents damage to muscles and tendons which would probably be torn if all the fibres in a muscle were active at the same instant.
Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.