Concentric strength training at optimal or short muscle length improves strength equally but does not reduce fatigability of hamstring muscles

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The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of a 6-week period of knee flexion strength training at either optimal or short muscle length, on length-specific muscle strength and fatigue. Twelve healthy volunteers performed dynamic (isokinetic concentric) training with one leg at short and the contralateral leg at optimal muscle length for 6 weeks. Knee flexor muscle strength was assessed before and after training, comprising maximal voluntary isometric and dynamic contractions at short, intermediate and near optimal muscle length and electrically evoked, contractions at near optimal length only. Fatigability was tested by performing 60 maximal concentric contractions at either short or optimal muscle length. Isometric torque at all muscle lengths improved equally by training at short and optimal muscle length, for example, tested at short 18 (17) versus 21 (17) % (CI) and at optimal 14 (8) versus 17 (16) % muscle length, respectively. Likewise, equal improvements were observed for dynamic contractions in both groups. Prior to training, fatigue induced at optimal muscle length tended to be more pronounced than at short muscle length (fatigue-indexes -41 (6) vs. -34 (7) %, respectively, P = 0.05). However, training at either length did not reduce fatigability. Training with maximal concentric contractions at either short or optimal muscle length for 6 weeks improved isometric and dynamic muscle strength in the entire range of motion without inducing any discernible length-specific adaptations. However, strength training at restricted muscle length did not reduce relative fatigue when induced at either short or optimal muscle length.

TidsskriftPhysiological Reports
StatusUdgivet - aug. 2019

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© 2019 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.

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