The reversal of antagonists facilitates the peak rate of tension development

David A. Gabriel, Jeffrey R. Basford, Kai N. An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The present study was designed to test the effects of the reversal of antagonists on the peak rate of tension development (dF/dtmax) of the elbow extensors. Design: Experimental, with matched controls. Setting: A biomechanics research laboratory. Participants: Twenty-six healthy women without a history of upper extremity injury or neurologic disorder, randomly assigned to experimental (n = 13) or control (n = 13) groups. Interventions: Two groups of healthy subjects followed identical exercise protocols, except that the control group performed maximal isometric contractions of the elbow extensors and the experimental group executed a maximal isometric elbow flexion contraction immediately before a maximal elbow extension contraction. Both groups performed 5 cycles of a 2-second contraction with 22-second rest periods between agonist muscle contractions and were evaluated at 4 test sessions spaced 2 weeks apart. Main Outcome Measures: All measurements were done with the shoulder and elbow at 90° of flexion in the sagittal plane to ensure reproducibility. A load cell was used to measure elbow extension moment and to calculate the peak rate of tension development (dF/dtmax). Biceps and triceps brachii surface electromyographic activity was monitored concurrently. The electromyographic measures were mean spike (peak-to-peak) amplitude and mean spike frequency of the biceps and triceps brachii activity. Results: Intraclass dF/dtmax and electromyographic reliability was good (r ≥ .72) in both groups. Because biceps electromyographic measures were considerably less reliable (r ≤ .53), they were not included in our analysis. While dF/dtmax increased quadratically in both groups (p < .05), the experimental group was on average 36.1Nm · s-1 (63%) greater across sessions 2 to 4 (p < .05). In contrast, triceps electromyographic activity did not differ significantly between groups (p > .05). The means averaged across groups exhibited a quadratic increase from session 1 to session 4: 91μV or 48% for mean spike amplitude (p < .05) and 7Hz or 16% for mean spike frequency (p < .05). Conclusions: The greater dF/dtmax for the experimental group was not associated with increased electromyographic activity. The experimental group appeared to use the biomechanic properties of the pretensioned extensor muscle-tendon complex, rather than neurologic biasing, to accomplish its power gains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)342-346
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume82
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

Fingerprint

Elbow
Biomechanical Phenomena
Isometric Contraction
Muscle Contraction
Nervous System Diseases
Upper Extremity
Tendons
Nervous System
Healthy Volunteers
Research Design
Outcome Assessment (Health Care)
Exercise
Muscles
Control Groups
Wounds and Injuries
Research

Keywords

  • Elbow
  • Electromyography
  • Isometric contraction
  • Rehabilitation
  • Shoulder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation

Cite this

The reversal of antagonists facilitates the peak rate of tension development. / Gabriel, David A.; Basford, Jeffrey R.; An, Kai N.

In: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 82, No. 3, 2001, p. 342-346.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gabriel, David A. ; Basford, Jeffrey R. ; An, Kai N. / The reversal of antagonists facilitates the peak rate of tension development. In: Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2001 ; Vol. 82, No. 3. pp. 342-346.
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