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The effect of unilateral isokinetic strength training on local adipose and muscle tissue morphology, thickness, and enzymes


One-leg exercise of 5 weeks duration in 10 healthy middleaged women resulted in a significant increment of muscle force in the exercising leg and in a less, but at some angular velocities also significant, increase in the nonexercising leg. The thickness of subcutaneous tissue measured by ultrasound and skinfold caliper decreased, while muslce thickness increased in the exercising leg only. The increased thickness of muscle tissue was associated with an increase in the relative number and relative fiber area of type II fibers in the exercising leg. The mean fiber area of type IIB fibers increased significantly as well as the activity of lactate dehydrogenase and myokinase. The decrease of thickness of subcutaneous adipose tissue was not associated with a significant decrease in fat cell size and was probably due to geometrical factors secondary to hypertrophy of the underlying muscle. It is concluded that the relationship between lean and fat components of the human thigh is significantly influenced by changes in the activity of the thigh skeletal muscles, but a local dynamic strength training program can hardly be used for local emptying of the fat depot over the exercising muscles.

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Correspondence to Marcin Krotkiewski.

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Krotkiewski, M., Aniansson, A., Grimby, G. et al. The effect of unilateral isokinetic strength training on local adipose and muscle tissue morphology, thickness, and enzymes. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 42, 271 (1979).

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Key words

  • Isokinetic exercise
  • Adipose tissue
  • Fat cell weight
  • Muscle tissue
  • Muscle fiber area
  • Muscle enzymes
  • Local reduction of adipose tissue
  • Local reduction of adipose tissue