FATIGUING SUBMAXIMAL EXERCISE OF ONE LIMB PRODUCES CENTRAL FATIGUE THAT TRANSFERS TO SOME DEGREE TO THE NON-EXERCISED LIMB
Litvintsev, A., & Cafarelli, E. (2005). How central is central fatigue? Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 37(5), Supplement abstract 568.
Untrained males (N = 10) performed tasks involving the quadriceps and hamstring muscles to voluntary fatigue using the legs independently. Muscle characteristics were monitored during the performances. One trial involved repeated 30% maximal voluntary contractions until fatigue prevented maintaining the targeted force level. The second trial involved no fatigue protocol. Central fatigue was assessed with the interpolated twitch technique.
Low-intensity contractions induced central fatigue demonstrated by a 20% decline in voluntary activation and 38% decline in maximal voluntary contraction in the exercised limb. There was a small but significant decline in maximal voluntary contraction and activation in the non-exercised limb.
Implication. Fatigue effects from an exercised limb are transferred, but to a much lesser degree, to the non-exercised limb.
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