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


  • This research was supported by a National Institute of Aging award [R15AG30730] to S.K.H., an Arthritis Foundation award to M.H.B. and the Marquette University, College of Health Sciences Undergraduate Summer Research Program

Correspondence to: S.K. Hunter; e-mail: sandra.hunter@marquette.edu


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. Muscle Nerve 48: 436–439, 2013