chapter  6
7 Pages

Muscle fibre type distribution and fibre size of triceps brachialis in elite tennis players

ByJ. SANCHÍS-MOYSI, A. GUADALUPE-GRAU, S. GUERRA, H. OLMEDILLAS, O. BERNALES, C. DORADO AND J.A.L. CALBET

Tennis is an excellent exercise model to study muscle plasticity in response to chronic exercise. Tennis players submit their dominant-arm to a huge amount of physical activity compared to their contralateral arm (Pirnay et al., 1987; Tsuji et al., 1995). In consequence, the muscle mass of the dominant arm is about 20 per cent higher than that of the non-dominant arm in elite tennis players (Sanchis Moysi et al., 1998). Although it is reasonable to assume variations in the relative contribution of the muscle groups to the overall muscle hypertrophy of the dominant arm, to our knowledge, the relative contribution of the size of individual muscles has not been investigated in tennis. Studies using electromyography have shown that triceps brachialis plays an important role in power generation in the different tennis strokes (Chow et al., 1999; Miyashita et al., 1980; Van Gheluwe and Hebbelinck, 1986). The knowledge of the morphological adaptations of triceps brachialis in elite tennis players could be useful for designing more specific and efficient strength-training programmes for tennis players.