Maximum isometric torque at individually-adjusted joint angles exceeds eccentric and concentric torque in lower extremity joint actions

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Abstract

Background: Previous research indicates the high relevance of optimal joint angles for individual isometric strength assessment. The objective was to compare lower limb peak isometric muscle strength abilities at the strongest joint angles with those of dynamic contractions in healthy young adults. Methods: Eighteen young male adults performed maximum concentric, isometric, and eccentric contractions of the ankle, knee, and hip flexors and extensors, and hip adductors and abductors in a randomized sequence on an isokinetic dynamometer (ISOMED 2000). Angular velocity was set at 60°/s. The peak of concentric contraction torque curves was used to define optimal joint angles best suited to generate maximum torque during isometric contractions. Maximum voluntary contraction torque of all contraction conditions was adjusted for limb weight and analyzed via a generalized linear mixed gamma regression model (GLMM). Results: The gamma GLMM revealed strongly significant effects for all three categorical covariates (contraction types, muscle group, and test order) (p< 2 × 10 - 16). Eccentric contraction increases the muscle torque (β^ k= 0.147) compared to concentric contraction, and isometric contraction even more (β^ k= 0.258). A moderate individual-specific variation was found (random effects standard deviation σb= 0.093). Conclusion: The results support the importance of optimal joint angles for isometric maximum strength assessment. When such conditions are given, isometric contractions can produce higher muscle torques than eccentric contractions in the lower body.

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Stotz, A., Maghames, E., Mason, J., Groll, A., & Zech, A. (2022). Maximum isometric torque at individually-adjusted joint angles exceeds eccentric and concentric torque in lower extremity joint actions. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation, 14(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13102-022-00401-9

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