Conditions of isokinetic knee flexion that enhance isokinetic knee extension

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1990 Apr;22(2):235-44.


The results of two experiments are reported. The purpose of the initial investigation was to determine the effect of isokinetic knee flexion contraction intensity on subsequent knee extension contraction. Seven subjects performed ten isokinetic knee flexion-extension cycles at six isokinetic velocities under two antagonist contraction conditions. In the first condition, isokinetic knee flexion and extension were speed-matched, and, in the second condition, the high-speed condition, knee flexion was 7.85 rad.s-1 irrespective of knee extension velocity, which ranged from 0.52 to 7.85 rad.s-1. Significantly greater isokinetic knee extension measures were observed at low isokinetic velocities and were associated with the high-speed contraction condition. Enhancement of the knee extension contraction was in the initial work phase of the isokinetic contraction. The second experiment was conducted to determine whether the enhancement of the initial work phase could be associated, in part, with passive elastic qualities of the involved musculature. In this study the range of motion for the knee involved musculature. In this study the range of motion for the knee extension-flexion cycles was reduced from the previous 2.01 rad to 1.57 rad. Two isokinetic knee extension velocities were studied (1.57 and 7.85 rad.s-1) under five conditions: initiated from rest, initiated from isometric knee flexion MVC, and with preceding isokinetic knee flexion at 0.52, 4.19, and 7.85 rad.s-1. The hypothesis that knee extension contraction measures would not increase was supported. Based upon the results of the two experiments, it is suggested that the increases in knee extension contraction measures observed in the first experiment are at least partially mediated by the contribution to net torque by passive elastic musculotendinous elements. Further study of this phenomenon with the inclusion of electromyographic measures will allow determination of the presence and contribution of increased neural drive.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee / physiology*
  • Knee Joint / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*