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Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte

Print version ISSN 1517-8692On-line version ISSN 1806-9940


SIMAO, Roberto; MONTEIRO, Walace David  and  ARAUJO, Claudio Gil Soares. Maximal muscle power in unilateral and bilateral elbow flexion. Rev Bras Med Esporte [online]. 2001, vol.7, n.5, pp.157-162. ISSN 1517-8692.

RATIONALE: muscular strength exercises may be performed both unilaterally and bilaterally. However, little is known about muscular power (MP) and maximum load (ML) in these situations. PURPOSE: To compare MP and ML in elbow flexion between the two arms separately, and between the sum of these two results and the result of the exercise performed with both arms simultaneously. METHODOLOGY: Twenty-four young adults (14 male and 10 female; negative PAR-Q) with no experience in the elbow flexion test were submitted to the 1 RM test - two repetitions in maximum speed at the concentric phase, with 3 s interval for each load, measuring the power (Fitrodyne, Bratislava) in each arm and in both arms simultaneously on a randomized basis, in order to determine MP and ML. RESULTS: The results for MP in left and right arm - 29.3 ± 2.8 and 29.7 ± 2.9 kg, respectively, and for ML, 106 ± 14 and 109 ± 12 W, respectively - were similar (p > 0.05) and strongly associated (r = 0.94). Comparing the sum of the unilateral values to the values of the bilateral exercise, ML was 5% higher (p = 0,02), and MP was 5% smaller (p = 0,053). CONCLUSION: While all subjects were right-handed, there was no unilateral difference in ML and MP, probably due to their lack of experience in this exercise. The sum of unilateral results differs in about 5% of the bilateral results. There is, however, opposite trends between MP and ML, probably a reflex of central limitation in the motor coordination of a complex movement, performed with maximum speed and with a relatively high load.

Keywords : Maximum muscular power; Unilateral and bilateral exercises; Counter-resistance training; Muscular strengthening; Bilateral deficit.

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