The effects of mild one-legged isometric or dynamic training

  • R. H. Parker


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 words

Training Isometric Dynamic Strength Endurance 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Croonen F, Binkhorst RA (1974) Oxygen uptake calculated from expiratory volume and oxygen analysis only. Ergonomics 17:113–117PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Durnin JV, Rahaman MM (1967) The assessment of the amount of fat in the human body from measurements of skinfold thickness. Br J Nutr 21:681–689PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Editorial (1981) Human muscle fatigue. Lancet 2 (8249): 729–730Google Scholar
  4. Edwards RHT, Hill DK, McDonnell M (1972) Myothermal and intramuscular pressure measurements during isometric contractions of the human quadriceps muscle. J Physiol [Lond] 244:58–59PGoogle Scholar
  5. Edwards RHT, Youngs A, Hosking GP, Jones DA (1977) Human skeletal muscle function: a description of tests and normal values. Clin Sci Mol Med 52:283–290PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Fuchs E (1982) Of ice and men. Chapter 13:317–329, Antony NelsonGoogle Scholar
  7. Ikai M, Fukunaga T (1970) A study on training effect on strength per unit cross-sectional area of muscle by means of ultrasonic measurement. Int Z Angew Physiol 28:173–180PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Komi PV, Viitasalo JT, Raunamaa R, Vihko V (1978) Effects of isometric strength training on mechanical and metabolic aspects of muscle function. Eur J Appl Physiol 40:45–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. McGlynn GH (1968) Strength and endurance gains and their relationships. Int Z Angew Physiol 26:323–329PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Monod H (1972) How muscles are used in the body. In: Bourne G (ed) The structure and function of muscle edn 2, vol 1. Academic Press, New York, pp 23–74Google Scholar
  11. Monod H, Scherrer J (1965) The work capacity of a synergic muscular group. Ergonomics 8:329Google Scholar
  12. Panin N, Lindenanen JH, Weiss AA, Edel A (1961) Electromyographic evaluation of the “cross exercise” effect. Arch Physiol Med Rehabil 42:47–53Google Scholar
  13. Rasch PJ, Morehouse LE (1957) Effect of static and dynamic exercise on muscular strength and hypertrophy. J Appl Physiol 11:29–34PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Saltin B, Nazan K, Costill DL, Stein E, Jansesson E, Essen B, Gollnick PD (1976) The nature of the training response; peripheral and central adaptions to one-legged exercise. Acta Physiol Scand 96:286–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Tesch P (1980) Muscle fatigue in man. With special reference to lactate accumulation during short term intense exercise. Acta Physiol Scand [Suppl] 480:1–40Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. H. Parker
    • 1
  1. 1.British Antarctic SurveyHigh CrossCambridgeGreat Britain

Personalised recommendations