Dissociated Time Course of Muscle Damage Recovery Between Single- and Multi-Joint Exercises in Highly Resistance-Trained Men

This study compared the time course of elbow flexor muscle recovery after multi- and single-joint exercises in highly resistance trained men. Sixteen men (24.5 ± 5.5 years) performed, in a counterbalanced order, 8 sets of 10 repetition maximum (RM) unilateral seated row exercise, and 8 sets of 10 RM unilateral biceps preacher curl exercise using the contralateral arm. Maximum isometric peak torque (PT), and delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) were recorded at baseline (PRE), 10 minutes, 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours after each exercise protocol. There was a significant decrease (P<0.05) in elbow flexor PT 10 minutes after both the multi- and single-joint exercise sessions. However, PT decrease was greater after single-joint (26.8%) when compared to multi-joint (15.1%) exercise (P<0.05). In addition, elbow flexor PT was lower (8.4%) than baseline 24 hours after the single-joint exercise (P<0.01), whereas PT returned to baseline 24 hours after the multi-joint exercise. Compared to baseline, DOMS increased at 24, 48 and 72 hours post single-joint exercise (P<0.05). However, DOMS returned to baseline levels after 72 hours post multi-joint exercise. In addition, DOMS after single-joint exercise was greater (P<0.05) than after multi-joint exercise at 24, 48 and 72 hours post exercise. Our data suggest that after a resistance training session, highly resistance trained men experience dissimilar elbow flexor strength recovery between single-joint and multi-joint exercises. Likewise, elbow flexor DOMS is greater and takes longer to recover after single-joint exercise.


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