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Partial Range of Motion Exercise Is Effective for Facilitating Muscle Hypertrophy and Function Through Sustained Intramuscular Hypoxia in Young Trained Men

Goto, Masahiro1,2; Maeda, Chikako2; Hirayama, Tomoko2; Terada, Shigeru3; Nirengi, Shinsuke4; Kurosawa, Yuko5; Nagano, Akinori1; Hamaoka, Takafumi5

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 5 - p 1286–1294
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002051
Original Research

Goto, M, Chikako, M, Hirayama, T, Terada, S, Nirengi, S, Kurosawa, Y, Nagano, A, and Hamaoka, T. Partial range of motion exercise is effective for facilitating muscle hypertrophy and function through sustained intramuscular hypoxia in young trained men. J Strength Cond Res 33(5): 1286–1294, 2019—The acute response to and long-term effects of partial range of motion exercise (PRE) and full range of motion exercise (FRE) of elbow extensors were compared in young trained men. The PRE was expected to increase the intramuscular hypoxic environment, which was theorized to enhance muscular hypertrophy. Forty-four resistance-trained men were divided into 2 training groups, PRE (n = 22) or FRE (n = 22) group, and performed the PRE or FRE acute exercise protocol. The PRE (elbow range from 45° to 90°) and FRE (from 0° to 120°) acute protocols consisted of 3 sets of 8 repetitions, with an 8RM, and an equivalent workload. After the initial testing, the training program for each group, comprised 3 training sessions per week for 8 weeks, was started. The acute responses of area under the oxygenated hemoglobin (Oxy-Hb) curve, blood lactate concentration, and root mean square of electromyography were significantly higher both before and after PRE than FRE training. Long-term effects were produced by both PRE and FRE, with significant (p ≤ 0.05) increases in cross-sectional area (CSA) of triceps brachii and isometric strength. The CSA increased significantly greater after PRE (48.7 ± 14.5%) than after FRE (28.2 ± 10.9%). Furthermore, during the PRE program, a positive correlation was detected between the percent increase in CSA and area under the Oxy-Hb curves before and after 8-week exercise training (before 8-week exercise training: r = 0.59, after 8-week exercise training: r = 0.70, p < 0.01). These results suggest that intramuscular hypoxia might facilitate muscular hypertrophy with PRE being more effective than FRE.

1Graduate School of Sport and Health Science, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan;

2Department of Physical Therapy, Aino University, Osaka, Japan;

3Department of Rehabilitation, Kanazawa Red Cross Hospital, Kanazawa, Japan; and

4Division of Preventive Medicine, Clinical Research Institute, National Hospital Organization Kyoto Medical Center, Kyoto, Japan

5Department of Sports Medicine for Health Promotion, Tokyo Medical University, Tokyo, Japan

Address correspondence to Takafumi Hamaoka,

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.