The purpose of this study was to investigate whether changes in angular velocity would alter vastus lateralis (VL) and rectus femoris (RF) oxygenation status during maximal isokinetic knee extension exercises. Eleven recreationally active male participants randomly performed ten maximal knee extensions at 30, 60, 120 and 240° s(-1). Tissue oxygenation index (TOI) and total haemoglobin concentration ([tHb]) were acquired from the VL and RF muscles by means of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Breath-by-breath pulmonary oxygen consumption (VO(2p)) was recorded throughout the tests. Peak torque and VO(2p) significantly decreased as a function of velocity (P<0·05). Interestingly, RF and VL TOI significantly increased as a function of velocity (P<0·05), whereas [tHb] significantly decreased as a function of velocity (P<0·05). A greater number of muscle fibre recruited at slow velocity, where the torque and VO(2p) were the highest, might explain the lower VL and RF TOI observed herein. Furthermore, the increase in local blood flow (suggested by [tHb] changes) during isokinetic knee extension exercises performed at slow angular velocity might have been induced by a higher intramuscular pressure during the contraction phases as well as a greater microcirculatory vasodilatation during relaxation phases. Implementing slow-velocity isokinetic exercises in rehabilitation or other training programmes could delay the short-term anoxia generated by such exercises and result in muscle metabolism enhancement.
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