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Grip Strength and Muscle Fatigue

Figure from experiment 17 from Human Physiology with Vernier


Skeletal muscle is composed of bundles of individual muscle fibers and has unique properties which allow it to respond to stimuli by contracting. Individual muscle fibers respond to a stimulus (e.g., nerve impulse) with an all or none response, meaning the muscle fiber contracts to its maximum potential or not at all. Once a muscle has contracted, relaxation must occur before it can contract again. There are three basic types of muscle fibers: slow fibers, fast fibers, and intermediate fibers. Fast fibers contract quickly but for a relatively short duration. Slow fibers respond less rapidly, but are capable of a more sustained contraction. The strength of contraction of a whole muscle is dependent on the number of muscle fibers involved.


In this experiment, you will

  • Obtain graphical representation of the force exerted by your hand while gripping.
  • Observe the change in hand strength during a continuous grip over time.
  • Observe the change in hand strength during rapid, repetitive gripping.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment requires each of the following Vernier sensors and equipment (unless otherwise noted):

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Download Experiment Preview

The student-version preview includes:

  • Step-by-step instructions for computer-based data collection
  • List of materials and equipment

Note: The experiment preview of the computer edition does not include essential teacher information, safety tips, or sample data. Instructions for Logger Pro and other software (such as LabQuest App or TI handheld software, where available) are on the CD that accompanies the book. We strongly recommend that you purchase the book before performing experiments.

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Standards Correlations

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Experiment 17 from Human Physiology with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Human Physiology with Vernier</i> book cover

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Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include a CD with word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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