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Torque decrease during submaximal evoked contractions of the quadriceps muscle is linked not only to muscle fatigue

Abstract : The aim of this study was to analyze the neuromuscular mechanisms involved in the torque decrease induced by submaximal electromyostimulation (EMS) of the quadriceps muscle. It was hypothesized that torque decrease after EMS would reflect the fatigability of the activated motor units (MUs), but also a reduction in the number of MUs recruited as a result of changes in axonal excitability threshold. Two experiments were performed on 20 men to analyze 1) the supramaximal twitch superimposed and evoked at rest during EMS (Experiment 1, n = 9) and 2) the twitch response and torque-frequency relation of the MUs activated by EMS (Experiment 2, n = 11). Torque loss was assessed by 15 EMS-evoked contractions (50 Hz; 6 s on/6 s off), elicited at a constant intensity that evoked 20% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) torque. The same stimulation intensity delivered over the muscles was used to induce the torque-frequency relation and the single electrical pulse evoked after each EMS contraction (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, supramaximal twitch was induced by femoral nerve stimulation. Torque decreased by similar to 60% during EMS-evoked contractions and by only similar to 18% during MVCs. This was accompanied by a rightward shift of the torque-frequency relation of MUs activated and an increase of the ratio between the superimposed and posttetanic maximal twitch evoked during EMS contraction. These findings suggest that the torque decrease observed during submaximal EMS-evoked contractions involved muscular mechanisms but also a reduction in the number of MUs recruited due to changes in axonal excitability.
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https://hal-univ-bourgogne.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01303543
Contributeur : Caps - Université de Bourgogne <>
Soumis le : lundi 18 avril 2016 - 12:15:00
Dernière modification le : vendredi 8 juin 2018 - 14:50:17

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Boris Matkowski, Romuald Lepers, Alain Martin. Torque decrease during submaximal evoked contractions of the quadriceps muscle is linked not only to muscle fatigue. Journal of Applied Physiology, American Physiological Society, 2015, 118 (9), pp.1136-1144. ⟨10.1152/japplphysiol.00553.2014⟩. ⟨hal-01303543⟩

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