Low-intensity eccentric contractions attenuate muscle damage induced by subsequent maximal eccentric exercise of the knee extensors in the elderly
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research
This study investigated whether low-intensity eccentric contractions of the knee extensors would attenuate the magnitude of muscle damage induced by maximal eccentric exercise of the same muscle performed 7 days later using elderly individuals. Healthy older men (66.4 ± 4.6 years) were assigned to control or experimental (Exp) group (n = 13 per group). The control group performed six sets of ten maximal eccentric contractions (MaxECC) of the knee extensors of non-dominant leg. The Exp group performed six sets of ten low-intensity eccentric contractions of the knee extensors on a leg extension machine by lowering a weight of 10 % maximal voluntary isometric knee extension strength (10 %ECC) 7 days prior to MaxECC. Changes in maximal voluntary isokinetic concentric torque (MVC-CON), angle at peak torque, range of motion (ROM), upper thigh circumference, muscle soreness, plasma creatine kinase activity and myoglobin (Mb) concentration and B-mode ultrasound echo-intensity before and for 5 days after MaxECC were compared between groups by a mixed factor ANOVA. No significant changes in any variables were observed following 10 %ECC. Following MaxECC, all variables changed significantly, and changes in all variables except for angle at peak torque were significantly different between groups. MVC-CON and ROM decreased smaller and recovered faster (P < 0.05) for Exp than control group, and changes in other variables were smaller (P < 0.05) for Exp group compared with control group. These results suggest that preconditioning knee extensor muscles with low-intensity eccentric contractions was effective for attenuating muscle damage induced by subsequent MaxECC of the knee extensors for elderly individuals.