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Declines in muscle force, power, and contractile function can be observed in older adults, clinical populations, inactive individuals, and injured athletes. Passive heating exposure (e.g., hot baths, sauna, or heated garments) has been used for health purposes, including skeletal muscle treatment. An acute increase in muscle temperature by passive heating can increase the voluntary rate of force development and electrically evoked contraction properties (i.e., time to peak twitch torque, half-relation time, and electromechanical delay). The improvements in the rate of force development and evoked contraction assessments with increased muscle temperature after passive heating reveal peripheral mechanisms’ potential role in enhancing muscle contraction. This review aimed to summarise, discuss, and highlight the potential role of an acute passive heating stimulus on skeletal muscle cells to improve contractile function. These mechanisms include increased calcium kinetics (release/reuptake), calcium sensitivity, and increased intramuscular fluid.

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