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Co-activation and tension-regulating phenomena during isokinetic knee extension in sedentary and highly skilled humans

  • I.G. Amiridis
  • A. Martin
  • B. Morlon
  • L. Martin
  • G. Cometti
  • M. Pousson
  • J. van Hoecke
Original Article

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine isokinetic torque produced by highly skilled (HS) and sedentary (S) human subjects, during knee extension, during maximal voluntary and superimposed electrical activation. To verify the level of activation of agonist (vastus lateralis, VL, and vastus medialis, VM) and antagonist muscles (semi-tendineous, ST), during maximal voluntary activation, their myo-electrical activities were detected and quantified as root mean square (rms) amplitude. Ten HS and ten S subjects performed voluntary and superimposed isometric actions and isokinetic knee extensions at 14 angular velocities (from −120 to 300°·s−1). The rms amplitude of each muscle was normalized with respect to its rms amplitude when acting as agonist at 15°·s−1. Whatever the angular velocity considered, peals torque and constant angular torque at 65° HS were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than those of S. Eccentric superimposed torque of S, but not HS, was significantly higher (P < 0.05) than voluntary torque at −120, −90, −60 and −30°·s−1 angular velocities. For a given velocity, the rms amplitude of VL and VM were significantly lower (P < 0.05), during eccentric than during concentric actions, in S, but not in HS. However, whatever the angular velocity, ST co-activation in HS was significantly lower (P < 0.05) than in S. We concluded that co-activation phenomenon could partly explain differences in isokinetic performances. Differences between voluntary and superimposed eccentric torques as well as lower agonist rms amplitude during eccentric action in S, support the possibility of the presence of a tension-regulating mechanism in sedentary subjects.

Key words

Torque/angular velocity relationship Isokinetic Knee extensors Tension regulation Co-activation 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • I.G. Amiridis
    • 1
  • A. Martin
    • 1
  • B. Morlon
    • 1
  • L. Martin
    • 1
  • G. Cometti
    • 1
  • M. Pousson
    • 1
  • J. van Hoecke
    • 1
  1. 1.Groupe Analyse du Mouvement, UFR-STAPS BP 138Université de BourgogneDijon CedexFrance

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