Effect of daily 3-s maximum voluntary isometric, concentric, or eccentric contraction on elbow flexor strength

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2022 May;32(5):833-843. doi: 10.1111/sms.14138. Epub 2022 Feb 13.


The present study compared a 3-s isometric maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), concentric MVC and eccentric MVC of the elbow flexors performed daily for 5 days a week for 4 weeks for changes in muscle strength and thickness. Young sedentary individuals were assigned to one of three training groups (n = 13 per group) that performed either 3-s isometric, concentric, or eccentric MVC once a day for 20 days, or to a control group (n = 10) that had measurements without training. The participants in the isometric group performed isometric MVC at 55° (0.96 rad) elbow flexion, and those in the concentric or eccentric group performed concentric MVC or eccentric MVC between 10° (0.17 rad) and 100° (1.75 rad) elbow flexion at 30°/s (0.52 rad/s) on an isokinetic dynamometer. MVC isometric torque at 20° (0.35 rad), 55° (0.96 rad), and 90° (1.57 rad) elbow flexion, MVC concentric and eccentric torque at 30°/s (0.52 rad/s) and 180°/s (3.14 rad/s), and muscle thickness (MT) of biceps brachii and brachialis were measured before and several days after the 20th exercise session. The control group did not show any changes. The eccentric group showed increases (p < 0.01) in isometric (three angle average: 10.2 ± 6.4%), concentric (two velocity average: 12.8 ± 9.6%), and eccentric MVC torque (12.2 ± 7.8%). An increase (p < 0.05) was limited for isometric MVC torque (6.3 ± 6.0%) in the concentric group, and for eccentric MVC torque (7.2 ± 4.4%) in the isometric group. No significant changes in MT were evident for all groups. Performing one 3-s MVC a day increased muscle strength, but eccentric MVC produced more potent effects than isometric or concentric MVC.

Keywords: daily training; isometric contraction; lengthening contraction; muscle thickness; shortening contraction; specificity.

MeSH terms

  • Elbow Joint* / physiology
  • Elbow* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Torque