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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009 Sep;107(2):235-41. doi: 10.1007/s00421-009-1118-2. Epub 2009 Jul 1.

Comparison between electrically evoked and voluntary isometric contractions for biceps brachii muscle oxidative metabolism using near-infrared spectroscopy.

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School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA, 6027, Australia.


This study compared voluntary (VOL) and electrically evoked isometric contractions by muscle stimulation (EMS) for changes in biceps brachii muscle oxygenation (tissue oxygenation index, DeltaTOI) and total haemoglobin concentration (DeltatHb = oxygenated haemoglobin + deoxygenated haemoglobin) determined by near-infrared spectroscopy. Twelve men performed EMS with one arm followed 24 h later by VOL with the contralateral arm, consisting of 30 repeated (1-s contraction, 1-s relaxation) isometric contractions at 30% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) for the first 60 s, and maximal intensity contractions thereafter (MVC for VOL and maximal tolerable current at 30 Hz for EMS) until MVC decreased approximately 30% of pre-exercise MVC. During the 30 contractions at 30% MVC, DeltaTOI decrease was significantly (P < 0.05) greater and DeltatHb was significantly (P < 0.05) lower for EMS than VOL, suggesting that the metabolic demand for oxygen in EMS is greater than VOL at the same torque level. However, during maximal intensity contractions, although EMS torque (approximately 40% of VOL) was significantly (P < 0.05) lower than VOL, DeltaTOI was similar and tHb was significantly (P < 0.05) lower for EMS than VOL towards the end, without significant differences between the two sessions in the recovery period. It is concluded that the oxygen demand of the activated biceps brachii muscle in EMS is comparable to VOL at maximal intensity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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