Local muscle blood flow and sustained contractions of human arm and back muscles

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1975;34(1):43-50. doi: 10.1007/BF00999914.


The endurance during sustained contraction of elbow, flexors, elbow extensors, and back extensors was tested in 3 human subjects. The force level used was varied between ca. 15 and ca. 75% of maximal isometric strength (IS). The clearance of 133Xe from contracting muscles was registered during and after the endurance test. In this way it was possible to determine whether muscle blood flow (MBF) was increased or had stopped during the contraction. Experiments with artificial ischaemia of the upper arm together with MBF measurements showed that MBF was of no importance for continuing sustained contractions above a certain force level, which was 50,25, and 40% of IS for elbow flexors, elbow extensors and back extensors, respectively. However, the level, where longer lasting ( greater than 15 min) sustained contraction is possible is directly related to MBF. These levels were 22, 15, and 20% IS for elbow flexors, elbow extensors, and back extensors, respectively.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arm
  • Back
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscles / blood supply*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Radioisotopes
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Time Factors
  • Xenon


  • Radioisotopes
  • Xenon