Elbow flexor evoked twitch contractile properties in untrained men and women and male bodybuilders
Summary The influence of elbow joint angle on elbow flexor isometric evoked twitch contractile properties was assessed in 15 young women (F), 18 young men (M) and 11 male bodybuilders (BB). Measurements were made at elbow joint angles of 1.31, 1.57, 1.83, 2.09, 2.36, 2.62 and 2.88 rad (3.14 rad =180° =full extension). The largest peak twitch torque values [mean (SE) N · m] in F [3.77 (0.20)], M [10.38 (0.68)] and BB [11.38 (1.05)] occurred at 2.88 rad. Peak torque was progressively smaller at smaller joint angles, but the decline from 2.88 to 1.31 rad was greater in M (68%) and BB (76%) than F (59%). Thus, the magnitude of intergroup differences in peak twitch torque (PT) was joint angle dependent. Twitch time to peak torque (TPT) was influenced in a complex way by joint angle in the three groups; BB had the lowest values at small joint angles but the highest values at the largest angles. Half-relaxation time (HRT) generally increased from the smallest to largest joint angles in a pattern that did not differ significantly among the three groups. Maximum rates of twitch torque development and relaxation showed the same pattern of results as PT; indicating that these time-related measures were more sensitive to joint angle effects on PT than on TPT or HRT. The results of this study indicate that careful consideration should be given to the selection of joint angles in the measurement of evoked twitch contractile properties for the purpose of making group comparisons or investigating the effects of interventions such as training.
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