The effect of six weeks endurance training on dynamic muscular control of the knee following fatiguing exercise

H Hassanlouei, D Falla, L Arendt-Nielsen, U G Kersting
Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology 2014, 24 (5): 682-8
The aim of the study was to examine whether six weeks of endurance training minimizes the effects of fatigue on postural control during dynamic postural perturbations. Eighteen healthy volunteers were assigned to either a 6-week progressive endurance training program on a cycle ergometer or a control group. At week 0 and 7, dynamic exercise was performed on an ergometer until exhaustion and immediately after, the anterior-posterior centre of pressure (COP) sway was analyzed during full body perturbations. Maximal voluntary contractions (MVC) of the knee flexors and extensors, muscle fiber conduction velocity (MFCV) of the vastus lateralis and medialis during sustained isometric knee extension contractions, and power output were measured. Following the training protocol, maximum knee extensor and flexor force and power output increased significantly for the training group with no changes observed for the control group. Moreover, the reduction of MFCV due to fatigue changed for the training group only (from 8.6% to 3.4%). At baseline, the fatiguing exercise induced an increase in the centre of pressure sway during the perturbations in both groups (>10%). The fatiguing protocol also impaired postural control in the control group when measured at week 7. However, for the training group, sway was not altered after the fatiguing exercise when assessed at week 7. In summary, six weeks of endurance training delayed the onset of muscle fatigue and improved the ability to control balance in response to postural perturbations in the presence of muscle fatigue. Results implicate that endurance training should be included in any injury prevention program.

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