Contralateral repeated bout effect of the knee flexors

Document Type

Journal Article


Lippincott Williams and Wilkins


School of Medical and Health Sciences


Originally published as : Chen, T. C., Lin, M. -., Chen, H. -., Yu, H. -., & Nosaka, K. (2018). Contralateral repeated bout effect of the knee flexors. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 50(3), 542-550. Article found here


Purpose Eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors (EF) confers protective effect against muscle damage of the same exercise performed by the opposite arm at 1, 7, or 28 d later. This is known as the contralateral repeated bout effect (CL-RBE), but it is not known whether CL-RBE is evident for the knee flexors (KF). The present study tested the hypothesis that KF CL-RBE would be observed at 1, 7, and 28 d after the initial bout.

Methods Young untrained men were assigned to a control or one of three experimental groups (n = 13 per group). The experimental groups performed 60 maximal KF eccentric contractions (60MaxEC) using one leg followed by the same exercise using the opposite leg at 1, 7, or 28 d later. The control group used the nondominant leg to repeat 60MaxEC separated by 14 d. Changes in several indirect muscle damage markers after 60MaxEC were compared between bouts and among the groups by using a mixed-design, two-way ANOVA.

Results Changes in maximal voluntary isokinetic concentric contraction torque, range of motion, muscle soreness, and plasma creatine kinase activity after the first 60MaxEC were similar among the groups. These changes were smaller after the second than the first 60MaxEC for the control, 1-d, and 7-d groups, and the changes after the second 60MaxEC were smaller for the control than for both the 1- and 7-d groups (P < 0.05). When the KF CL-RBE was compared with the EF CL-RBE of the previous study, the magnitude was not significantly different.

Conclusions These results showed that CL-RBE was evident for KF in a similar manner to that for EF, but did not last for 28 d, and the CL-RBE was smaller than the ipsilateral RBE.