Effect of a concentric warm-up exercise on eccentrically induced soreness and loss of function of the elbow flexor muscles

J Sports Sci. 2010 Nov;28(13):1377-82. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2010.513398.


The aim of this study was to examine the effect of concentric warm-up exercise on eccentrically induced changes in muscle strength, range of motion, and soreness of the elbow flexors. Ten resistance-exercise naive participants performed intermittent incremental eccentric actions (42 in total) of the elbow flexor muscles of each arm to induce muscle damage. The arms of each participant were randomly assigned either to a pre-eccentric exercise warm-up involving intermittent concentric exercise (warm-up) or no prior exercise (control). Strength, range of motion, and ratings of soreness were recorded before and 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 days after exercise. Strength, range of motion, and soreness during muscular movements changed over time (P at most 0.01; Cohen's d at least 0.51, medium). There was an interaction (P < 0.001) for strength, showing a smaller reduction after exercise for warm-up than control (P < 0.001, d = 2.44, large effect). The decreased range of motion was less for warm-up than control for the arm while extended (P < 0.001), flexed (P = 0.002), and relaxed (P = 0.004). Muscle soreness was reduced for the warm-up group, while the muscle was flexed, extended, and relaxed compared with control (P < 0.001). The results demonstrate that a concentric warm-up exercise attenuates the reduction in loss of strength, range of motion, and muscle soreness after eccentric-exercise-induced muscle damage and might allow higher intensities of training to be performed.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arm
  • Elbow Joint / physiopathology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology
  • Muscular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / adverse effects
  • Young Adult