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Comparison among three different intensities of eccentric contractions of the elbow flexors resulting in the same strength loss at one day post-exercise for changes in indirect muscle damage markers

Abstract

Purpose

The present study compared three different intensity elbow flexor eccentric exercises resulting in the same magnitude of maximal voluntary isomeric contraction torque (MVC) decrease at 1 day post-exercise for changes in several indirect markers of muscle damage and proprioception.

Methods

Sedentary young men performed eccentric contractions of the elbow flexors using a dumbbell corresponding to either 10%, 50% or 100% of MVC to induce ~ 20% decrease in MVC at 1 day post-exercise (n = 12/group). MVC, range of motion (ROM), upper arm circumference (CIR), muscle soreness, plasma creatine kinase (CK) activity, and proprioception measures (force match, joint position sense) were taken before to 5 days after exercise, and the changes were compared among the groups.

Results

MVC and ROM recovered faster (P < 0.05) in the order of 10% (e.g., 3 days post-exercise: − 3 ± 4%, 0 ± 1%), 50% (− 12 ± 3%, − 3 ± 2%) and 100% group (− 16 ± 4%, − 5 ± 1%). Peak CIR, muscle soreness and CK activity were smaller for 10% (Δ3 ± 1 mm, 26 ± 10 mm, 1049 ± 316 IU/L) than 50% (Δ6 ± 2 mm, 36 ± 14 mm, 1473 ± 429 IU/L) and 100% groups (Δ8 ± 2 mm, 47 ± 15 mm, 2104 ± 929 IU/L). The proprioception measures recovered faster (P < 0.05) for 10% followed by 50% then 100% group. The recovery rate of MVC from immediately to 1 day post-exercise was correlated (P < 0.05) with the changes in the muscle damage and proprioception markers.

Conclusion

These results suggest that the MVC at 1 day post-exercise does not necessarily predict the changes in muscle damage markers in the following days, but the MVC recovery rate in the first 24 h reflects the magnitude of muscle damage better.

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Abbreviations

ANOVA:

Analysis of variance

AM:

Angle match

CIR:

Upper arm circumference

CK:

Creatine kinase

CV:

Coefficient of variation

DOMS:

Delayed onset muscle soreness

EC:

Eccentric contractions

ECM:

Extracellular matrix

EF:

Elbow flexors

EIMD:

Eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage

EMG:

Electromyography

FM:

Force match

Mb:

Myoglobin

MVC:

Maximal voluntary isometric contraction

MVCrec:

Recovery rate of MVC

R :

Intraclass correlation coefficient

RPE:

Rating of perceived exertion

PS:

Joint position sense

ROM:

Range of motion

SD:

Standard deviation

SOR:

Muscle soreness

VAS:

Visual analog scale

η 2 :

Eta-squared values

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST 105–2410-H-003–052-MY3), Taiwan.

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Authors

Contributions

All authors (TCC, GLH, CCH, KWT, WCT, TYC, and KN) contributed to the data analysis and interpretation of the data, drafting, and revising the manuscript, and approved the final version of the manuscript. The original study design was made by TCC and KN, and discussed with the other authors, and TCC, GLH and CCH performed data collection.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Trevor C. Chen.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University Institutional Research Ethic Committee for Human Subjects and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Communicated by William J. Kraemer.

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Chen, T.C., Huang, GL., Hsieh, CC. et al. Comparison among three different intensities of eccentric contractions of the elbow flexors resulting in the same strength loss at one day post-exercise for changes in indirect muscle damage markers. Eur J Appl Physiol 120, 267–279 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-019-04272-w

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Keywords

  • Lengthening contractions
  • Maximal isometric contraction strength
  • Recovery
  • Muscle strength
  • Delayed onset muscle soreness
  • Force mismatch
  • Position error