Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Verbal encouragement: effects on maximum effort voluntary muscle: action
  1. Peter J McNair,
  2. Jill Depledge,
  3. Matt Brettkelly,
  4. Stephen N Stanley


    Objective To examine the effects of verbal encouragement on the peak force of the elbow flexors during an isometric muscle action.

    Methods A crossover design whereby 20 subjects were divided into 10 2×2 Latin squares was undertaken. Peak forces were measured on a Kin-Com dynamometer, and electromyographic (EMG) activity was also recorded from the biceps brachii. All subjects completed trials with and without verbal encouragement.

    Results Mean peak force increased (P<0.05) from 296 to 311 N (5%) when verbal encouragement was presented. A spectral analysis of the EMG activity showed no changes (P>0.05) to the median frequency in the condition where verbal encouragement was present.

    Conclusions These findings have ramifications for training and exercise therapy. An awareness of the effects of verbal encouragement is important when motivating athletes and patients to attain maximum performance during exercise.

    • strength
    • verbal
    • performance
    • psychological influences

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

    Linked Articles

    • Original article
      Roger G Eston