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Full range of motion induces greater muscle damage than partial range of motion in elbow flexion exercise with free weights.

Baroni, Bruno Manfredini; Pompermayer, Marcelo Gava; Cini, Anelize; Peruzzolo, Amanda Stortti; Radaelli, Régis; Brusco, Clarissa Müller; Pinto, Ronei Silveira
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: Post Acceptance: July 07, 2016
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001562
Original Research: PDF Only

Load and range of motion (ROM) applied in resistance training (RT) affect the muscle damage magnitude and the recovery time-course. Since exercises performed with partial ROM allow a higher load compared to those with full ROM, this study investigated the acute effect of a traditional RT exercise using full ROM or partial ROM on muscle damage markers. Fourteen healthy men performed four sets of 10 concentric-eccentric repetitions of unilateral elbow flexion at the Scott bench. Arms were randomly assigned to partial ROM (50[degrees] to 100[degrees]) and full ROM (0[degrees] to 130[degrees]) conditions, and load was determined as 80% of one repetition maximum in full and partial ROM tests. Muscle damage markers were assessed pre-exercise, and immediately, 24h, 48h and 72h after exercise. Primary outcomes were peak torque, muscle soreness during palpation and elbow extension, arm circumference, and joint ROM. The load lifted in partial ROM condition (1RM=19.1+/-3.0kg) was 40+/-18% higher compared to full ROM (1RM=13.7+/-2.2kg). 72h after exercise, the full ROM condition led to significant higher soreness sensation during elbow extension (1.3-4.1cm vs. 1.0-1.9cm) and smaller ROM values (97.5-106.1[degrees] vs. 103.6-115.7[degrees]). Peak torque, soreness from palpation and arm circumference were statistically similar between conditions, although mean values in all time points of these outcomes have suggested a more expressive muscle damage for the full ROM condition. In conclusion, elbow flexion exercise with full ROM seems to induce greater muscle damage than partial ROM exercises, even though higher absolute load was achieved with partial ROM.

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