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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Acute effects of concentric vs. eccentric exercise on force steadiness and electromyographic responses of the forearm flexors

Xin Ye, Travis W Beck, Nathan P Wages
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2015, 29 (3): 604-11
25226337
The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of concentric (CON) vs. eccentric (ECC) exercise on isometric strength, force steadiness, and surface electromyographic (EMG) responses of the forearm flexors. Fifteen resistance-trained men (mean ± SD: age = 23.7 ± 3.5 years; height = 178.9 ± 4.7 cm; body weight = 86.2 ± 9.8 kg) performed 6 sets of 10 maximal CON isokinetic or ECC isokinetic muscle actions using the dominant forearm flexors on 2 separate experimental visits. Before and immediately after the exercise interventions, isometric strength testing and submaximal trapezoid isometric contractions were performed, with bipolar EMG signals detected from the biceps brachii. The coefficient of variation of the force output from the mid 8-second portion of each submaximal trapezoid isometric contraction was calculated to assess force steadiness. In addition, the EMG signal was selected from the same portion as the force signal. The results showed that both CON and ECC caused similar isometric strength losses, but ECC caused a greater loss of force steadiness than CON. In addition, EMG amplitude increased similarly after both exercise interventions, but the magnitude of the increase in EMG mean frequency after ECC tended to be smaller, when compared with that after CON. These findings suggested that, even for resistance-trained individuals that are more resistant to ECC exercise-induced muscle damage than untrained individuals, their ability to maintain a steady submaximal force can be impaired after a bout of ECC exercise.

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