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The effects of isometric and eccentric strength training programs on isometric leg strength Laycoe, Robert Richardson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of strength training by eccentric and isometric contractions in relation to isometric right leg strength. A secondary purpose was to determine if individual differences in eccentric strength gains were related to individual differences in isometric strength gains. Forty-five volunteer subjects were systematically assigned to three groups in such a manner that these groups were balanced in terms of initial isometric leg strength. The groups were then randomly assigned to experimental and control conditions. One group trained with eccentric contractions, another with isometric contractions and the last acted as a control. The groups were tested for isometric leg strength before and after a six week training program. The Eccentric Group was also tested for eccentric leg strength during the first and last training sessions. The training sessions took place three times per week and three maximal contractions were performed during each session. The results indicated that both isometric and eccentric training produced significant isometric strength gains (t = 7.13, 6.64 respectively, p < .05) when compared to the Control Group. However, there was no significant difference between the strength gains of the two experimental groups (t = .49, p > .05). Within the eccentrically trained group it was also found that eccentric strength was significantly improved due to training (t = 5.52, p < .05) but that this improvement was uncorrelated (r = .27) with isometric improvement scores. Within the limitations of this study, it was concluded that isometric and eccentric training were of approximately equal value in increasing isometric strength. Further, there was no relationship between isometric improvement scores and eccentric improvement scores.

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