Mechanical and EMG responses of the vastus lateralis and changes in biochemical variables to isokinetic exercise in endurance and power athletes

Alberto Rainoldi, Marco Gazzoni, Roberto Merletti, Marco Alessandro Minetto
Journal of Sports Sciences 2008 February 1, 26 (3): 321-31
Twelve endurance athletes and six power athletes performed fatiguing isokinetic knee flexions/extensions. Isokinetic torque was recorded during the exercise. Isometric torque, cortisol and lactate responses, electromyographic (EMG) mean power frequency, average rectified value, and conduction velocity were analysed before and after the isokinetic exercise to determine correlations between electrophysiological variables and mechanical performances and/or blood concentrations of biomarkers in the two groups of athletes. The EMG variables were estimated from signals recorded from the vastus lateralis in both voluntary and electrically elicited isometric contractions. Power athletes recorded higher values than endurance athletes for the following variables: pre-exercise isometric maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), isokinetic MVC, rate of mechanical fatigue during isokinetic contractions, pre - post exercise variations and recovery times of conduction velocity and mean power frequency, and lactate concentrations. Moreover, conduction velocity overshooting was observed in endurance athletes during the recovery phase after exercise. The correlation analyses showed that the higher the rate of mechanical fatigue, the higher the lactate production and the reduction in conduction velocity due to the exercise.

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