TRAINING EFFECTS IN THE ARMS APPEAR TO BE DIFFERENT TO THOSE OF THE LEGS

Hendrix, C. R., Beck, T. W., Housh, T. J., Johnson, G. O., Weir, J. P., Cramer, J. T., Coburn, J. W., Malek, M. H., & Mielke, M. (2007). Effects of very short-term, unilateral, isokinetic training of the forearm flexors on strength in the trained and untrained limbs. ACSM Annual Meeting New Orleans, Presentation Number, 1792.

"Recent studies of the leg extensors have reported that very short-term resistance training programs (2-3 training sessions) resulted in increased strength and muscular performance." This study determined the effects of very short-term, unilateral isokinetic training on forearm flexion peak torque (PT) in the trained and untrained limbs. Men (N = 12) were randomly assigned to one of two groups: a training group (TRN; N = 6), or a control group (CTL; N = 6). Testing included three maximal, unilateral, concentric isokinetic muscle actions of the dominant (based on throwing preference) and non-dominant forearm flexors at180/s. The training consisted of two separate unilateral training sessions of the dominant limb consisting of 6 x 10 maximal, concentric, isokinetic muscle actions at a velocity of 180/s, while the control group rested. Testing and training sessions were at least 48 hours apart.

There were no significant pre-test to post-test changes in flexion peak torque for either arm for both groups.

Implication. Two training sessions produced no effects on forearm flexion. This finding is different to studies reporting leg adaptations over a similar training stimulus.

This study showed that obtaining training effects in the arm is much more difficult than in the legs. There is a possibility that the arms also have limited trainability when compared to the legs. The assumption that training effects should be expected to be equal across all body parts under similar programs of training are unfounded.

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