Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30075
Effect of Submaximal Eccentric versus Maximal Isometric Contraction on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Authors: Mohamed M. Ragab, Neveen A. Abdel Raoof, Reham H. Diab


Background: Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the most common symptom when ordinary individuals and athletes are exposed to unaccustomed physical activity, especially eccentric contraction which impairs athletic performance, ordinary people work ability and physical functioning. Multitudes of methods have been investigated to reduce DOMS. One of the valuable methods to control DOMS is repeated bout effect (RBE) as a prophylactic method. Purpose: To compare the repeated bout effect of submaximal eccentric with maximal isometric contraction on induced DOMS. Methods: Sixty normal male volunteers were assigned randomly into three equal groups: Group A (first study group): 20 subjects received submaximal eccentric contraction on non-dominant elbow flexors as a prophylactic exercise. Group B (second study group): 20 subjects received maximal isometric contraction on nondominant elbow flexors as a prophylactic exercise. Group C (control group): 20 subjects did not receive any prophylactic exercises. Maximal isometric peak torque of elbow flexors and patient related elbow evaluation (PREE) scale were measured for each subject 3 times before, immediately after, and 48 hours after induction of DOMS. Results: Post-hoc test for maximal isometric peak torque and PREE scale immediately and 48 hours after induction of DOMS revealed that group (A) and group (B) resulted in significant decrease in maximal isometric strength loss and elbow pain and disability rather than control group (C), but submaximal eccentric group (A) was more effective than maximal isometric group (B) as it showed more rapid recovery of functional strength and less degrees of elbow pain and disability. Conclusion: Both submaximal eccentric contraction and maximal isometric contraction were effective in prevention of DOMS but submaximal eccentric contraction produced a greater protective effect against muscle damage induced by maximal eccentric exercise performed 2 days later.

Keywords: Delayed onset muscle soreness, maximal isometric peak torque, patient related elbow evaluation scale, repeated bout effect.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1768


[1] K. Cheung, P. Hume and L. Maxwell: Delayed onset muscle soreness: treatment strategies and performance factors. Journal of Sports Medicine; 33(2):145-64, 2003.
[2] H. Chen, K. Nosaka and T. Chen: Muscle damage protection by low intensity eccentric contractions remains for 2 weeks but not 3 weeks. Europe Journal of Applied Physiology; 112: 555-565, 2012.
[3] F. Lauritzen, G. Paulsen, T. Raastad, L. Bergersen and S. Owe: Gross ultra-structural changes and necrotic fiber segments in elbow flexor muscles after maximal voluntary eccentric action in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology; 107(6): 1923–1934, 2009.
[4] P. Clarkson and M. HubaL: Exercise-induced muscle damage in humans”. American Journal of Physiologic Medical Rehabilitation; 81(11): 52-69, 2002.
[5] O. Prasartwuth, J. Taylor and S. Gandevial: Maximal force, voluntary activation and muscle soreness after eccentric damage to human elbow flexor muscles. J Physiology; 567: 337–348, 2005.
[6] DiPasquale, M. Dana, J. Robert and M. Richard: Determinants of the Repeated-Bout Effect after Lengthening Contractions. Original Research Articles: Musculoskeletal; 90 (10): 816-824, 2011.
[7] D. Chapman, M. Newton, M. McGuigan and K. Nosaka: Comparison between old and young men for responses to fast velocity maximal lengthening contractions of the elbow flexors. Europe Journal of Applied Physiology; 104(3): 531–539, 2008.
[8] S. Sayers and P. Clarkson: Force recovery after eccentric exercise in males and females Europe Journal of Applied Physiology; 84: 122-126, 2001.
[9] M. McHugh and D. Tetro: Changes in the relationship between joint angle and torque production associated with the repeated bout effect. Journal of Sports Science; 21:927-32, 2003.
[10] C. Brockett, D. Morgan and U. Proske: Human hamstring muscles adapt to eccentric exercise by changing optimum length. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; 33: 783–790, 2001.
[11] T. Chen, H. Chen, AJ. Pearce, et al. Two maximal isometric contractions attenuate the magnitude of eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage. Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; 37: 680–689, 2012.
[12] L. Hirose, N. Nosaka, M. Newton, A. Lavender, M. Kano, J. Peake and K. Suzuki: Changes in inflammatory mediators following eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors. Exercise Immunology Review; 10: 75-90, 2004.
[13] A. Cleary, Michelle, et al: Temporal Pattern of the Repeated Bout Effect of Eccentric Exercise on Delayed- Onset Muscle Soreness. Journal of Athletic Training: 37(1):32-36, 2002.
[14] A. Lavender and K. Nosaka: A light load eccentric exercise confers protection against a subsequent bout of more demanding eccentric exercise. Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; 11(3): 291–298, 2008.
[15] N. Shahbazpour, et al: Early alternations in serum creatine kinase and total cholesterol following high intensity eccentric muscle actions. Perception and motor systems laboratory. The University of Queensland, 2004.
[16] M. Sahebazamani, H. Mohammadi and T. Ghahraman: The Effect of Repeated Bouts of Eccentric Exercise on Functional Markers of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. International Journal of Applied Exercise Physiology 1(2), 2012.
[17] T. Chen, H. Chen and A. Pearce: Attenuation of Eccentric Exercise induced Muscle Damage by Preconditioning Exercises. Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2012.
[18] T. Chen, H. Chen, M. Lin, C. Wu and K. Nosaka: Muscle damage responses of the elbow flexors to four maximal eccentric exercise bouts performed every 4 weeks. Europe Journal of Applied Physiology; 106(2): 267–275, 2009b.
[19] K. Nosaka and M. Aoki: Repeated bout effect: research update and future perspective. Brazilian Journal of Biomotricity; 5(1): 5-15, 2011.
[20] C. Starbuck and R. Eston: Exercise-induced muscle damage and the repeated bout effect: evidence for cross transfer. Europe Journal of Applied Physiology; 112 (3): 1005-13, 2012.
[21] R. Chan, R. Newton and K. Nosaka: Effects of set repetition configuration in eccentric exercise on muscle damage and the repeated bout effect. Europe Journal of Applied Physiology; 112:2653–2661, 2012.
[22] A. Aldayel, M. Jubeau, M. McGuigan and K. Nosaka: Less indication of muscle damage in the second than initial electrical muscle stimulation bout consisting of isometric contractions of the knee extensors. Europe Journal of Applied Physiology; 108:709 –717, 2010.
[23] G. Howatson, K. Someren and T. Hortobagyi: Repeated bout effect after maximal eccentric exercise. International Journal of Sports Medicine; 28(7), 557-563, 2007.
[24] T. Chen and K. Nosaka: Responses of elbow flexors to two strenuous eccentric exercise bouts separated by three days. Journal of Strength Conditioning Res; 20(1): 108–116, 2006a.
[25] K. Nosaka, M. Newton, P. Sacco, D. Chapman and A. Lavender: Partial protection against muscle damage by eccentric actions at short muscle lengths. Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise; 37: 746-753, 2005b.
[26] A. Mackey, J. Bojsen, K. Qvortrup, M. Pedersen, S. Brandstetter and P. Schjerling: Sequenced response of extracellular matrix de adhesion and fibrotic regulators after muscle damage is involved in protection against future injury in human skeletal muscle. FASEB journal official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology; 25: 1943-1959, 2011.
[27] K. Nosaka: Muscle damage and adaptation induced by lengthening contractions. In: Shinohara, M (editor): Advances in Neuromuscular Physiology of Motor Skills and Muscle Fatigue. Kerela, India: Research Signpost; 415-435, 2009.
[28] A. Philippou, G. Bogdanis and A. Nevill: Changes in the angle-force curve of human elbow flexors following eccentric and isometric exercise. Europe Journal of Applied Physiology; 93: 237-244, 2004.
[29] A. Philippou, M. Maridaki and G. Bogdanis: Angle-specific impairment of elbow flexors strength after isometric exercise at long muscle length. Journal of Sports Science; 21: 859-65, 2003.
[30] J. Marc, M. Muthalib, Y. Guillaume, A. Nicola and K. Nosaka: Comparison in muscle damage between maximal voluntary and electrically evoked isometric contractions of the elbow flexors Europe Journal of Applied Physiology; 2011.
[31] T. Koh and S. Brooks: Lengthening contractions are not required to induce protection from contraction-induced muscle injury. American Journal of physiologic Regulatory Integrative Comp; 281(1):155-161, 2001.
[32] M. Uchida, K. Nosaka, C. Ugrinowitsch, A. Yamashita, E. Martins, A. Moriscot and M. Aoki: Effect of bench press exercise intensity on muscle soreness and inflammatory mediators. Journal of Sports Science; 27: 499-507, 2009.
[33] G. Howatson and K. Someren: Evidence of a contralateral repeated bout effect after maximal eccentric contractions. European Journal of Applied Physiology; 101: 207-214, 2007.