European Journal of Applied Physiology

, 106:139

An inverted seated posture decreases elbow flexion force and muscle activation

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00421-009-0999-4

Cite this article as:
Hearn, J., Cahill, F. & Behm, D.G. Eur J Appl Physiol (2009) 106: 139. doi:10.1007/s00421-009-0999-4


The purpose of this study was to determine if discrepancies exist between upright and inverted seated positions in isometric maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) elbow flexor force, MVC force produced in the first 100 ms (F100), MVC rate of force development, electromyographic (EMG) activity of the biceps and triceps as well as heart rate and blood pressure. The results showed significantly (p < 0.01) higher MVC force (543.6 ± 29.6 vs. 486.5 ± 23.0 N), F100 (328.3 ± 94.5 vs. 274.6 ± 101.8 N), rate of force development (p = 0.003) (1,851.9 ± 742.2 vs. 1,591.0 ± 719.6 N s−1) and biceps brachii EMG activity (48%, p < 0.01) in the upright versus inverted condition. There were relatively greater co-contractions with the inverted position (p < 0.01) due to the lack of change in triceps’ EMG and the substantial decrease in biceps’ EMG. There were no significant changes in trunk EMG activity. With inversion, there were significant decreases in heart rate (16.8%), systolic (11.6%) and diastolic (12.1%) blood pressures (p < 0.0001). These results illustrate decrements in neuromuscular performance with an inverted seated posture which may be related to an altered sympathetic response.


TiltMVCElectromyographyBlood pressureHeart rateRate of force development

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Hearn
    • 1
  • Farrell Cahill
    • 1
  • David George Behm
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Human Kinetics and RecreationMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt John’sCanada