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An Examination of the Strength and Electromyographic Responses After Concentric Vs. Eccentric Exercise of the Forearm Flexors

Ye, Xin; Beck, Travis W.; DeFreitas, Jason M.; Wages, Nathan P.

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: April 2014 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 1072–1080
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000251
Original Research

Ye, X, Beck, TW, DeFreitas, JM, and Wages, NP. An examination of the strength and electromyographic responses after concentric vs. eccentric exercise of the forearm flexors. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1072–1080, 2014—The purpose of this study was to examine the strength and electromyographic (EMG) responses in exercised and nonexercised limbs after concentric (CON) vs. eccentric (ECC) exercise of the forearm flexors. Twenty-five men (mean ± SD age, 23.6 ± 3.8 years; height, 179.7 ± 6.6 cm; body weight, 87.4 ± 14.6 kg) performed 6 sets of 10 maximal CON isokinetic (CON exercise) or ECC isokinetic (ECC exercise) muscle actions of the dominant (DOM) forearm flexors on 2 separate randomly ordered visits. Each subject performed isometric maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) of both the DOM and nondominant (NONDOM) forearm flexors before (PRE) and immediately after (POST) the exercise interventions. The DOM limb was the only limb exercised for both interventions. A bipolar EMG signal was detected from the biceps brachii during each MVC. The results showed that there were significant 17 and 21% decreases in maximal strength after the CON exercise and ECC exercise, respectively. When collapsed across exercise conditions, strength for the DOM and NONDOM limbs significantly decreased 36 and 4% after exercise, respectively. Accompanied with the strength losses, normalized EMG amplitude for the DOM and NONDOM limbs also reduced 21 and 7%, respectively. These findings suggested that the CON exercise and ECC exercise interventions caused similar strength losses for the exercised arm. There was also a strength loss in the contralateral nonexercised arm that was likely because of neural factors.

Biophysics Laboratory, Department of Health and Exercise, Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma

Address correspondence to Xin Ye,

Copyright © 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.