European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 116, Issue 5, pp 939–946 | Cite as

Increases in M-wave latency of biceps brachii after elbow flexor eccentric contractions in women

  • Karina KouzakiEmail author
  • Kazunori Nosaka
  • Eisuke Ochi
  • Koichi Nakazato
Original Article



Eccentric contractions (ECCs) induce muscle damage that is indicated by prolonged loss of muscle function and delayed onset muscle soreness. It is possible that ECCs affect motor nerves, and this may contribute to the prolonged decreases in force generating capability. The present study investigated the hypothesis that M-wave latency of biceps brachii would be increased after maximal elbow flexor ECCs resulting in prolonged loss of muscle strength.


Fifteen women performed exercise consisting of 60 maximal ECCs of the elbow flexors using their non-dominant arm. M-wave latency was assessed by the time taken from electrical stimulation applied to the Erb’s point to the onset of M-wave of the biceps brachii before, immediately after, and 1–4 days after exercise. Maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVC) torque, range of motion (ROM) and muscle soreness using a numerical rating scale were also assessed before and after exercise.


Prolonged decreases in MVC torque (1–4 days post-exercise: −54 to −15 %) and ROM (1–2 days: −32 to −22 %), and increased muscle soreness (peak: 4.2 out of 10) were evident after exercise (p < 0.05). The M-wave latency increased (p < 0.01) from 5.8 ± 1.0 ms before exercise to 6.5 ± 1.7 ms at 1 day and 7.2 ± 1.5 ms at 2 days after exercise for the exercised arm only. No significant changes in M-wave amplitude were evident after exercise.


The increased M-wave latency did not fully explain the prolonged decreases in MVC torque after eccentric exercise, but may indicate reversible motor nerve impairment.


M-wave Biceps brachii Erb’s point Nerve damage Muscle damage 



Creatine kinase


Control conduction


Coefficient of variation


Delayed onset muscle soreness

E–C coupling

Excitation contraction coupling


Eccentric contractions


Muscular dystrophy


Muscle fiber conduction velocity


Musculocutaneous nerve


Nerve conduction velocity


Neuromuscular junction


Numerical rating scale


Range of motion


Standard deviation


Sarcoplasmic reticulum


Transverse tubule


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karina Kouzaki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kazunori Nosaka
    • 2
  • Eisuke Ochi
    • 3
  • Koichi Nakazato
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Health and Sport ScienceNippon Sport Science UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research, School of Medical and Health SciencesEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  3. 3.Graduate School of EducationOkayama UniversityOkayamaJapan

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