Do isometric, isotonic and/or isokinetic strength trainings produce different strength outcomes?

J Bodyw Mov Ther. 2018 Apr;22(2):430-437. doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2017.08.001. Epub 2017 Aug 19.


Introduction: Several studies have been developed to determine which type of muscular action (isometric, isotonic and isokinetic) elicits more gains in functional strength and muscle mass. The comparisons between training outcomes are inconclusive due to lack of exercise standardization.

Objective: To compare muscle strength, mass, and functional performance in response to isometric, isotonic, and isokinetic contractions, when training loads (volume and intensity) are equated.

Method: Data were derived from a university community-recruited sample (n = 31 men).

Interventions: Untrained men were assigned to isotonic (IT), isometric (IM), or isokinetic (IK) group, and trained their dominant quadriceps muscle 3 sessions/week for 8 weeks with a dynamometer. Muscle strength was assessed using Cybex 6000 dynamometer; the triple-hop-distance test was used to assess functional performance, and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry to assess lean muscle mass.

Results: After training, muscle lean muscle mass increased in isometric (+3.1%, p < 0.01) and isotonic groups (+3.9%, p < 0.01); only the isokinetic group showed a significant improvement in the triple-hop-distance test (4.84%, p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Clinicians should consider isometric training as an alternative for isotonic training to gain muscle mass, and isokinetic training to improve functional performance of daily activities and/or sports.

Keywords: Concentric; Dynamometer; Isometric; Leg extensors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology
  • Isotonic Contraction / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Young Adult