Determination of muscular fatigue in elite runners

Abstract : This study analyses the changes in the electro-myographic activity (EMG) of six major muscles of the leg during an incremental running test carried out on a treadmill. These muscles, the gluteus maximus (GM), biceps femoris (BF), vastus lateralis (VL), rectus femoris (RF), tibialis anterior (TA) and gastrocnemius (Ga) are known to have quite different functions during running. The aim of this study was to develop a methodology adapted to the analysis of integrated EMG (iEMG) running results, and to test the chronology of the onset of fatigue of the major muscles involved in running. Nine well-trained subjects [ _ V O 2max 76 (2.9) ml.min À1 .kg À1 ] took part in this study. They completed a running protocol consisting of 4 min stages, incrementally increasing in speed until exhaustion. The EMG signal was recorded during ten bursts of activation analysed separately at 45 s and 3 min 40 s of each stage. During running, consideration of the alteration in stride frequency with either an increase in speed or the onset of fatigue appears to be an indispensable part of the assessment of muscular fatigue. This allows the comparison of muscular activation between the various stage speeds by the use of common working units. Distance seems to be the only working unit that allows this comparison and thus the determination of the appearance of fatigue during running. The biarticular hip-mobilising muscles (RF and BF), which present two different bursts of activation during one running cycle, are the muscles that show the earliest signs of fatigue.
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European Journal of Applied Physiology, Springer Verlag, 2005, 94 (1-2), pp.118-125. 〈10.1007/s00421-004-1276-1〉
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Christine Hanon, Chantalle Thépaut-Mathieu, Henry Vandewalle. Determination of muscular fatigue in elite runners. European Journal of Applied Physiology, Springer Verlag, 2005, 94 (1-2), pp.118-125. 〈10.1007/s00421-004-1276-1〉. 〈hal-01623765〉

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