Lab #2 – Bilateral Deficit


Lab #2 – Bilateral Deficit

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Objectives:      To investigate differences in strength when performing muscular contractions with one limb and with two limbs simultaneously.

 

                           

Introduction:   Muscular strength is largely determined by muscle cross-sectional area. Strength is also determined by your ability to transmit signals from the motor cortex in the brain down the spinal cord to neurons that innervate muscle fibers. This is also referred to as motor unit recruitment. Thus, strength is determined by both neural and muscular components.

 

One neural phenomenon that is observed during strength training is a difference in ability to generate strength when contracting two limbs at a time versus contraction of one limb at a time (i.e. bilateral deficit)

 

Equipment:       2 Dumbbells (or equivalent)
Masking Tape (or Other Tape)
Measuring Tape or Ruler

 

Procedure:              Follow the instructions outlined in the lab guide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion Questions:

  • Find the average sum of the unilateral strengths and average bilateral strength for the entire class for both the bicep curl test and vertical jump test. Was there a difference between the one and two-limb measurements? What neural mechanisms can be used to explain these differences? (4)
  • How would you expect the scores to change if you participated in a strength training program where you performed mainly unilateral (one limb) exercises? How would you expect the scores to change if you participated in a strength training program where you performed mainly bilateral (two limb) exercises? (4)
  • If an individual trains only one limb (i.e. the right leg) over a period of time, strength is also increased (but to a lesser extent) in the untrained limb (i.e. the left leg). How could you explain this phenomenon which is known as cross-education? (4)
  • During this lab, you performed a test of muscular strength (bicep curl) and muscular power (vertical jump). How are strength and power related? How does power relate to amount of work performed during a task? (3)

 

 

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