Multiarticular Isokinetic High-Load Eccentric Training Induces Large Increases in Eccentric and Concentric Strength and Jumping Performance

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Papadopoulos, C, Theodosiou, K, Bogdanis, GC, Gkantiraga, E, Gissis, I, Sambanis, M, Souglis, A, and Sotiropoulos, A. Multiarticular isokinetic high-load eccentric training induces large increases in eccentric and concentric strength and jumping performance. J Strength Cond Res 28(9): 2680–2688, 2014—This study investigated the effects of short-term eccentric exercise training using a custom-made isokinetic leg press device, on concentric and eccentric strength and explosiveness as well as jumping performance. Nineteen healthy males were divided into an eccentric (ECC, n = 10) and a control group (CG, n = 9). The ECC group trained twice per week for 8 weeks using an isokinetic hydraulic leg press machine against progressively increasing resistance ranging from 70 to 90% of maximal eccentric force. Jumping performance and maximal force generating capacity were measured before and after eccentric training. In the ECC group, drop jump (DJ) height and maximal power were increased by 13.6 ± 3.2% (p < 0.01) and 25.8 ± 1.2% (p < 0.01), whereas ground contact time was decreased by 17.6 ± 2.6% (p < 0.01). Changes in ankle, knee, and hip joint angles were also reduced by 33.9 ± 1.1%, 31.1 ± 1.0%, and 32.4 ± 1.6% (all p < 0.01), respectively, indicating an increase in muscle stiffness during the DJ. Maximal eccentric and concentric leg press force was increased by 64.9 ± 5.5% (p < 0.01) and 32.2 ± 8.8% (p < 0.01), respectively, and explosiveness, measured as force attained in the first 300 milliseconds, was increased by 49.1 ± 4.8% (p < 0.01) and 77.1 ± 7.7% (p < 0.01), respectively. The CG did not show any statistically significant changes in all parameters measured. The main findings of this study were that maximal concentric and eccentric force, explosiveness, and DJ performance were markedly increased after only 16 training sessions, possibly because of the high eccentric load attained during the bilateral eccentric leg press exercise performed on this custom-made device.

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