Effects of Low-Load Resistance Training with Vascular Occlusion on the Mechanical Properties of Muscle and Tendon

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The present study aimed to investigate the effects of low-load resistance training with vascular occlusion on the specific tension and tendon properties by comparing with those of high-load training. Nine participants completed 12 weeks (3 days/week) of a unilateral isotonic training program on knee extensors. One leg was trained using low load (20% of 1 RM) with vascular occlusion (LLO) and other leg using high load (80% of 1 RM) without vascular occlusion (HL). Before and after training, maximal isometric knee extension torque (MVC) and muscle volume were measured. Specific tension of vastus lateralis muscle (VL) was calculated from MVC, muscle volume, and muscle architecture measurements. Stiffness of tendon-aponeurosis complex in VL was measured using ultrasonography during isometric knee extension. Both protocols significantly increased MVC and muscle volume of quadriceps femoris muscle. Specific tension of VL increased significantly 5.5% for HL, but not for LLO. The LLO protocol did not alter the stiffness of tendon-aponeurosis complex in knee extensors, while the HL protocol increased it significantly. The present study demonstrated that the specific tension and tendon properties were found to remain following low-load resistance training with vascular occlusion, whereas they increased significantly after high-load training.

Dept. of Life Science, Univ. of Tokyo, Komaba 3-8-1, Meguroku, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan

Dept. of Physical Education, Kokushikan Univ., Nagayama 7-3-1, Tama, Tokyo, Japan

Sato Institute for Rehabilitation and Fitness, Yahata 2-4-1, Fuchu, Tokyo 183, Japan

Dept. of Sports Sciences, Waseda Univ., Mikajima 2-579-15, Tokorozawa, Saitama 359-1192, Japan.