The effect of eccentric exercise with blood flow restriction on neuromuscular activation, microvascular oxygenation, and the repeated bout effect
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To examine the effect of low-intensity eccentric contractions with and without blood flow restriction (BFR) on microvascular oxygenation, neuromuscular activation, and the repeated bout effect (RBE).
Participants were randomly assigned to either low-intensity (LI), low-intensity with BFR (LI-BFR), or a control (CON) group. Participants in LI and LI-BFR performed a preconditioning bout of low-intensity eccentric exercise prior to about of maximal eccentric exercise. Participants reported 24, 48, 72, and 96 h later to assess muscle damage and function. Surface electromyography (sEMG) and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) were used to measure neuromuscular activation and microvascular deoxygenation (deoxy-[Hb + Mb]) and [total hemoglobin] ([THC]) during the preconditioning bout, respectively.
During set-2, LI-BFR resulted in greater activation of the VM-RMS (47.7 ± 11.5% MVIC) compared to LI (67.0 ± 20.0% MVIC), as well as during set-3 (p < 0.05). LI-BFR resulted in a greater change in deoxy-[Hb + Mb] compared to LI during set-2 (LI-BFR 13.1 ± 5.2 µM, LI 6.7 ± 7.9 µM), set-3 (LI-BFR 14.6 ± 6 µM, LI 6.9 ± 7.4 µM), and set-4 (p < 0.05). [THC] was higher during LI-BFR compared to LI (p < 0.05). All groups showed a decrease in MVIC torque immediately after maximal exercise (LI 74.2 ± 14.1%, LI-BFR 75 ± 5.1%, CON 53 ± 18.6%). At 24, 48, 72, and 96 h post maximal eccentric exercise, LI and LI-BFR force deficit was not different from baseline.
This study suggests that the neuromuscular and deoxygenation (i.e., metabolic stress) responses were considerably different between LI and LI-BFR groups; however, these differences did not lead to improvements in the RBE inferred by performing LI and LI-BFR.
KeywordsBlood flow restriction Repeated bout effect Near-infrared spectroscopy
Analysis of variance
Blood flow restriction
- deoxy-[Hb + Mb]
Exercise-induced muscle damage
Low intensity with blood flow restriction
Maximal voluntary isometric contraction
Repeated bout effect
Root mean square
Total hemoglobin concentration
The authors would like to thank the subjects for volunteering to participate in this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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