SUMMARY We describe neuromuscular hysteresis – the dependence of muscle force on recent motoneuron activity – in the body wall muscles of larval Sarcophaga bullata and Drosophila melanogaster . In semi-intact preparations, isometric force produced by a train of nerve impulses at a constant rate was significantly less than that produced by the same train of stimuli with a brief (200 ms) high-frequency burst of impulses interspersed. Elevated force did not decay back to predicted values after the burst but instead remained high throughout the duration of the stimulus train. The increased force was not due to a change in excitatory junction potentials (EJPs); EJP voltage and time course before and after the high-frequency burst were not statistically different. Single muscle and semi-intact preparations exhibited hysteresis similarly, suggesting that connective tissues of the origin or insertion are not crucial to the mechanism of hysteresis. Hysteresis was greatest at low motoneuron rates – yielding a ~100% increase over predicted values based on constant-rate stimulation alone – and decreased as impulse rate increased. We modulated motoneuron frequency rhythmically across rates and cycle periods similar to those observed during kinematic analysis of larval crawling. Positive force hysteresis was also evident within these more physiological activation parameters.