Effects of antagonist pre-load on agonist muscle performance in young men

The aim of this study was to evaluate and compare acute effects of a reciprocal action protocol and a super-set protocol on knee extensor performance during concentric isokinetic exercise. Fourteen men aged 29.4+6.1 years were tested on three different protocols, with 1 min of rest between sets: control (3 sets of 10 isokinetic knee extension repetitions), reciprocal action protocol (3 sets of 10 repetitions of reciprocal isokinetic concentric knee flexion and knee extension repetitions), and super-set protocol (3 sets of a combination of 10 repetitions of knee flexion immediately followed by 10 repetitions of knee extension repetitions). Tests were performed at 608 s71 and 1808 s71, randomized across 3 days and separated by at least 72 h. There were no significant differences between protocols for peak torque at 608 s71 or 1808 s71. Total work was significantly higher during the reciprocal action protocol compared with the super-set protocol at 608 s71. There was a significant decline in peak torque (from 240.6 to 212.9 N m) and total work (from 2294 to 1899 J) for the control condition at 608 s71. Also, total work declined significantly across sets for the super-set protocol at 608 s71 (from 2157 to 1707 J). Results indicate that a reciprocal action protocol provides torque maintenance during multiple sets of isokinetic training, both at slow and high velocities.


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