Oxygen consumption of gastrocnemius medialis muscle during submaximal voluntary isometric contractions with and without preceding stretch


After an active muscle stretch, maintaining a certain amount of force in the following isometric phase is accompanied by less muscle activation compared to an isometric contraction without preceding active stretch at the corresponding muscle length. This reduced muscle activation might be related to reduced metabolic costs, such as the oxidative metabolism. Hence, the aim of this study was to clarify if mechanisms associated with stretch-induced activation reduction (AR) also influence oxygen consumption of voluntary activated human muscles after active stretch. Plantarflexion torque of 20 subjects was measured during 1) purely isometric and 2) active stretch contractions (26°, 60°/s), at a submaximal torque level of 30% MVC. Oxygen consumption (m VO2) of gastrocnemius medialis (GM) was estimated by near-infrared spectroscopy while applying arterial occlusion. Since the overall group did not show AR at GM after active stretch (p > 0.19), a subgroup was defined (n = 10) showing AR of 13.0 ± 10.3% (p = 0.00). However, for both purely isometric and active contractions m VO2 was the same (p = 0.32). Therefore, AR triggered by active stretch did not affect m VO2 of active human muscle.

Scientific Reports