What are the best isometric exercises of muscle potentiation?
The aim of this study was to follow post-activation potentiation (PAP), low-frequency fatigue (LFF), metabolic-induced fatigue and post-contractile depression (PCD) in response to different isometric muscle contraction modalities.
Young healthy men (N = 120) were randomly assigned to one of ten exercise modality groups which differed in contraction duration (5–60 s), activation pattern (intermittent or continuous contractions), activation mode (voluntary or stimulated), and intensity [maximal or submaximal (50%)]. Isometric maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), and electrically induced knee extension torque were measured at baseline and at regular intervals for 60 min after exercise.
Muscle contraction modalities involving 5 s MVC were the most effective for PAP, whereas the lowest PAP effectiveness was found after the 12 × 5-MVC modality. After all of the 5–15 s MVC and 6 × 5-MVC protocols, the potentiation of the twitch rate was significantly higher than that recorded after continuous 30–60 s protocols (P < 0.001). Tetanic maximal torque (100 Hz) potentiation occurred 5 min after 15–30 s repetitive MVC modalities and after modality involving 15 electrical stimuli (P < 0.05).
The findings demonstrate that post-activation potentiation was most effective after brief duration continuous and repetitive MVC protocols. To understand the resultant warm-up of motor performance, it is necessary to recognize the coexistence of muscle PAP, tetanic maximal force potentiation, rapid recovery of metabolic muscle, and central muscle activation processes, as well as prolonged LFF and prolonged PCD.
KeywordsPost-activation potentiation Tetanic maximal force potentiation Low-frequency fatigue Metabolic-related fatigue Post-contractile depression Electrostimulation
Analysis of variance
Muscle conditioning protocol
Maximal voluntary contraction
100 Hz electrically induced peak torque
20 Hz electrically induced peak torque
Electrically induced twitch peak torque
Twitch contraction rate
Twitch half-relaxation rate
AS and DM: conception and design of the study, AS, GJ, SK, DM, MB, DV, DK, MM and GM: data collection and analyses, AS: wrote the manuscript. All authors edited and approved the manuscript final version.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors have no conflicts of interest.
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