The effects of mild one-legged isometric or dynamic training
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Four men isometrically trained their stronger leg for 19 weeks (attempted knee extension against a restraining strap incrementally increasing to 30 brief maximal contractions x 6 wk−1). Five others similarly trained dynamically (repeated knee extension against a 63 N resistance force, incrementally increasing to 300 extensions x 6 wk−1). Before, at regular intervals during training and after de-training (between 7–11 weeks) measurements were made using trained and control legs of: Maximum Voluntary Isometric Contraction (M.V.C.), Endurance at 60% M.V.C., Knee Extension Performance Test (K.E.P.T.) and One-legged Work Test. Isometric training produced a 30% (p<0.01) increase in M.V.C. with a 15% (p<0.05) increase in the control leg. These changes persisted with some deterioration after the de-training period. Endurance at 60% M.V.C. remained unchanged, even though M.V.C. was increasing in both trained and control legs. There was some evidence that isometric training improved the cardio-vascular response to one-legged exercise. Dynamic training did not result in changes in M.V.C, Endurance at 60% M.V.C. or the One-legged work Test, but K.E.P.T. (time taken for 50 knee extensions at a comfortable pace against 63 N resistance) improved by 33% (p<0.01) and 28% (p<0.01) in the trained and control legs respectively. Isometric training resulted in similar improvements in performance of K.E.P.T. (28%, p<0.05, trained leg; 18%, p<0.05 control leg). For similar time spent in training, isometric work appeared more effective than dynamic work in improving the parameters of muscle function, these improvements appeared to be both centrally (C.N.S.) and locally mediated.
Key wordsTraining Isometric Dynamic Strength Endurance
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