Less fatiguability in eccentric than concentric repetitive maximal muscle contractions
European Journal of Applied Physiology
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Human Performance
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI #19K19890 (Masatoshi Nakamura)
Changes in elbow flexion torque and biceps brachii electromyogram (EMG) activity over 30 repetitive maximal voluntary concentric-only (CON-only), eccentric-only (ECC-only), and alternative concentric and eccentric (CON-ECC, 30 concentric + 30 eccentric) contractions were examined to compare their muscle fatigue profiles.
Fifteen healthy young men performed CON-only, ECC-only and CON-ECC in their maximal effort between 10° and 100° elbow flexion on an isokinetic dynamometer at an angular velocity of 30°/s with a 3-s rest between contractions in a randomised order with ≥ 3 days between conditions. Changes in torque and EMG over the repeated contractions and maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVC-ISO) torque with EMG before the first contraction and immediately after the last contraction were compared among conditions by two-way repeated measures analysis of variance.
The torque decreased (p < 0.01) from the first to 30th contraction in CON-only (− 49.5 ± 11.0 %), ECC-only (− 32.2 ± 7.4 %), and concentric (− 62.3 ± 8.7 %) as well as eccentric phase (− 58.9 ± 9.3 %) in CON-ECC (− 46.0 ± 12.3 % overall). The magnitude of the decrease in the torque was greater (p < 0.01) for the CON-only than ECC-only, and the concentric than an eccentric phase in the CON-ECC. However, MVC-ISO torque decreased (p < 0.01) similarly after CON-only (− 42.9 ± 13.8 %) and ECC-only (− 40.1 ± 9.2 %), which was smaller (p < 0.01) than CON-ECC (− 56.8 ± 9.2 %). EMG over contractions decreased (p < 0.01) for all conditions similarly from the first to the last contraction (− 28.5 ± 26.8 %), and EMG in MVC-ISO also decreased similarly for all conditions (− 24.7 ± 35.8 %).
These results suggest greater fatigue resistance in repetitive maximal eccentric than concentric contractions, but the fatigue assessed by MVC-ISO does not show it.