Strength-velocity relationship and fatiguability of unilateral versus bilateral arm extension

  • A. A. Vandervoort
  • D. G. Sale
  • J. R. Moroz


Strength-velocity relations and fatigue resistance in an arm bench press manoeuvre were compared between conditions of bilateral (BL, both arms acting together) and unilateral muscle contraction in 9 young men. BL and UL (sum of the 2 arms acting singly) strength was similar for isometric and slow isokinetic maximal voluntary contractions (MVC); at high velocities BL MVC declined more than UL. In both types of contractions a curvilinear relation was observed between strength and velocity, with significantly higher peak torques (PT) being produced under isometric conditions than for slow velocity efforts (p<0.01). Mean declines in PT during 100 repetitive MVCs of approximately 70s were to 25% of initial values for the BL fatigue test and to 37% for UL (p<0.01). In contrast to results of a similar investigation of leg extension in the same subjects, the arms showed (1) no BL deficit of strength in the initial part of the strength-velocity curve and (2) approximately twice as much fatigue in repetitive contractions. These physiological differences may stem from the varying habitual activity patterns of the arms and legs.

Key words

Muscle, maximal voluntary strength Fatigue Isokinetic dynamometer Arms 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. A. Vandervoort
    • 1
  • D. G. Sale
    • 2
  • J. R. Moroz
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Physical Therapy and Geriatric Medicine, Elborn CollegeUniversity of Western OntarioLondon
  2. 2.Department of Physical EducationMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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