Our study aimed to determine whether electrical and mechanical factors contributing to acute or long-term maximal torque reduction and muscle soreness due to submaximal eccentric exercise (ECC) are elbow-joint-angle specific and to what extent the joint angle affects the contribution of antagonist coactivation to this torque reduction. Maximal isometric torque (MIT), muscle soreness assessment, agonist electromechanical activities, and antagonist coactivation during the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) were measured at elbow joint angles of 60°, 90°, and 150° before ECC, immediately after exercise, and 24, 48, 72, and 120 hr after exercise. ECC causes an immediate decrease in MIT as well as increased antagonist coactivation at three angles. Antagonist coactivation returned to its baseline level at 24 hr regardless of joint angle. The most rapid torque recovery and the highest force level at which pain occurred were found after ECC at a joint angle of 60°. During the recovery period, no mechanomyographical changes were observed when measuring surface mechanomyography changes at three angles, while the electrical activity differed between angles.
The authors are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University School of Physical Education, Wroclaw, Poland.