Comparison between maximal lengthening and shortening contractions for biceps brachii muscle oxygenation and hemodynamics

Document Type

Journal Article


American Physiology Society


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research




This article was originally published as: Muthalib, M. , Lee, H. , Millet, G. , Ferrari, M., & Nosaka, K. (2010). Comparison between maximal lengthening and shortening contractions for biceps brachii muscle oxygenation and hemodynamics. Journal of Applied Physiology, 109(3), 710-720. Original article available here


Eccentric contractions (ECC) require lower systemic oxygen (O2) and induce greater symptoms of muscle damage than concentric contractions (CON); however, it is not known if local muscle oxygenation is lower in ECC than CON during and following exercise. This study compared between ECC and CON for changes in biceps brachii muscle oxygenation [tissue oxygenation index (TOI)] and hemodynamics [total hemoglobin volume (tHb) = oxygenated-Hb + deoxygenated-Hb], determined by near-infrared spectroscopy over 10 sets of 6 maximal contractions of the elbow flexors of 10 healthy subjects. This study also compared between ECC and CON for changes in TOI and tHb during a 10-s sustained and 30-repeated maximal isometric contraction (MVC) task measured immediately before and after and 1–3 days following exercise. The torque integral during ECC was greater (P < 0.05) than that during CON by ∼30%, and the decrease in TOI was smaller (P < 0.05) by ∼50% during ECC than CON. Increases in tHb during the relaxation phases were smaller (P < 0.05) by ∼100% for ECC than CON; however, the decreases in tHb during the contraction phases were not significantly different between sessions. These results suggest that ECC utilizes a lower muscle O2 relative to O2 supply compared with CON. Following exercise, greater (P < 0.05) decreases in MVC strength and increases in plasma creatine kinase activity and muscle soreness were evident 1–3 days after ECC than CON. Torque integral, TOI, and tHb during the sustained and repeated MVC tasks decreased (P < 0.01) only after ECC, suggesting that muscle O2 demand relative to O2 supply during the isometric tasks was decreased after ECC. This could mainly be due to a lower maximal muscle mass activated as a consequence of muscle damage; however, an increase in O2 supply due to microcirculation dysfunction and/or inflammatory vasodilatory responses after ECC is recognized.



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