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Muscle Contraction Types

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Muscle Contraction Types

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There are 3 muscle contractions. Isometric contraction, isotonic contraction, and isokinetic.

Isometric contraction is a held, static muscle action where there is no movement or change in the muscle length. Strength gains that result from isometric contractions are joint angle specific. A disadvantage of an isometric contraction is the tendency for breath holding which to leads to a rise in blood pressure, which may be dangerous for some clients.

Isotonic contraction is muscle actions that have movement. In most exercise settings, this is the most common type of action. Muscle tension varies throughout the range of motion depending on mechanical factors. There are 2 types: concentric and eccentric. Concentric is the shortening of a muscle as it develops tension against a resistance often called a positive contraction. Eccentric is the lengthening action of a muscle as it develops tension against a resistance often called a negative contraction.

Isokinentic is muscle actions performed on special equipment where speed is controlled, and any force applied against the machine results in an equal reaction force. This type of contraction is considered by many practitioners to be safe. Consequently, this equipment is most often found in clinical rehabilitation settings.

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