Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Centre for Human Performance / School of Medical and Health Sciences
This study was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (111-2410-H-003-147-MY3) and the Higher Education Sprout Project by the Ministry of Education (MOE) in Taiwan.
The present study compared the ipsilateral repeated bout effect (IL-RBE) and contralateral repeated bout effect (CL-RBE) of the elbow flexors (EF) and knee flexors (KF) for the same interval between bouts to shed light on their mechanisms. Fifty-two healthy sedentary young (20–28 years) men were randomly assigned to the IL-EF, IL-KF, CL-EF, and CL-KF groups (n = 13/group). Thirty maximal eccentric contractions of the EF were performed in IL-EF and CL-EF, and 60 maximal eccentric contractions of the KF were performed in IL-KF and CL-KF, with a 2-week interval between bouts. Changes in muscle damage markers such as maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) torque, muscle soreness, and plasma creatine kinase activity, and proprioception measures before to 5 days post-exercise were compared between groups. Changes in all variables were greater (p < 0.05) after the first than second bout for all groups, and the changes were greater (p < 0.05) for the EF than KF. The changes in all variables after the second bout were greater (p < 0.05) for the CL than IL condition for both EF and KF. The magnitude of the average protective effect was similar between CL-EF (33%) and CL-KF (32%), but slightly greater (p < 0.05) for IL-EF (67%) than IL-KF (61%). These demonstrate that the magnitude of CL-RBE relative to IL-RBE was similar between the EF and KF (approximately 50%), regardless of the greater muscle damage for the EF than KF. It appears that the CL-RBE is more associated with neural adaptations at cerebrum, cerebellum, interhemispheric inhibition, and coricospinal tract, but the IL-RBE is induced by additional adaptations at muscles.
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