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Fatigue and recovery from dynamic contractions in men and women differ for arm and leg muscles

Jonathon Senefeld, Tejin Yoon, Marie Hoeger Bement, Sandra K Hunter
Muscle & Nerve 2013, 48 (3): 436-9
23494882

INTRODUCTION: Whether there is a gender difference in fatigue and recovery from maximal velocity fatiguing contractions and across muscles is not understood.

METHODS: Sixteen men and 19 women performed 90 isotonic contractions at maximal voluntary shortening velocity (maximal velocity concentric contractions, MVCC) with the elbow flexor and knee extensor muscles (separate days) at a load equivalent to 20% maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC).

RESULTS: Power (from MVCCs) decreased similarly for men and women for both muscles (P > 0.05). Men and women had similar declines in MVIC of elbow flexors, but men had greater reductions in knee extensor MVIC force and MVIC electromyogram activity than women (P < 0.05). The decline in MVIC and power was greater, and force recovery was slower for the elbow flexors compared with knee extensors.

CONCLUSIONS: The gender difference in muscle fatigue often observed during isometric tasks was diminished during fast dynamic contractions for upper and lower limb muscles.

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