Elbow flexion strength curves in untrained men and women and male bodybuilders
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The influence of elbow joint angle on voluntary isometric elbow flexion strength was assessed in 15 young women (F), 18 young men (M) and 11 male bodybuilders (BB). Measurements were made at elbow joint angles of 1.31, 1.57, 1.83, 2.09, 2.36, 2.62 and 2.88 rad (3.14 rad = 180 degrees = full extension). The peak voluntary strength [mean (SE), N.m] in M [69.5 (4.3)] and BB [93.3 (4.8)] occurred at 2.09 rad (120 degrees), but occurred at 1.57 rad (90 degrees) in F [35.4 (2.4)]. Peak torque at 1.31 rad was 20% and 25% lower than at 2.09 rad in M and BB, respectively, but did not differ between these two angles in F. The larger elbow flexor muscle and fibre size in M and BB may have been responsible for their impaired torque production at joint angles corresponding to the shortest muscle lengths.
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