Muscle fatigue and metabolic responses following three different antagonist pre-load resistance exercises

Rodrigo Carregaro*, Rafael Cunha, Carlos Gomes Oliveira, Lee E. Brown, Martim Bottaro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Preload of antagonist muscles can be achieved by reciprocal actions (RAs) or by opposing muscle actions. However, evidence concerning neuromuscular and fatigue responses are scarce. Objective: To compare the effects of different knee flexor (KF) preload methods on knee extension (KE) vastus medialis muscle fatigue, based on EMG-spectral index (FI), load range (LR), total work (TW), blood lactate (LAC) and biceps femoris co-activation (BFc) during resistance exercise. Methods: Twenty-four healthy men (23.5±3.6yrs) performed three antagonist pre-load isokinetic exercises (4 sets, 10 repetitions, 60°s-1, 1min rest between sets): RA (KF contraction immediately followed by KE); Superset (SS; one KF set immediately followed by one KE set); Multiple Set (MS; four KF sets followed by four KE sets). Results: Total work was significantly greater in RA. There was no significant decrease in LR between sets in RA. The BFc did not differ between protocols (p=0.063). However, RA presented greater biceps femoriscoactivation. The FI was greater during SS compared to RA and MS (p<0.05). The SS had greater LAC when compared to MS and RA (p=0.005 and p=0.007, respectively). Conclusion: It is suggested that the RA protocol is more neuromuscular and metabolic efficient during the performance of knee extension resistance exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1090-1096
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Electromyography and Kinesiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Electromyography
  • Isokinetic
  • Knee joint
  • Resistance exercise


Dive into the research topics of 'Muscle fatigue and metabolic responses following three different antagonist pre-load resistance exercises'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this