Published on Fri Sep 03 2021

Sex differences in central and peripheral fatigue induced by sustained isometric ankle plantar flexion

Jo, D., Goubran, M., Bilodeau, M.

Ten males and fourteen females performed a sustained isometric ankle exercise until task failure. Fatigue had a significant effect (p {pound} 0.05) on all dependent variables. Other than for the maximal voluntary contraction torque, males showed a greater fatigue-related decrease than females.

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Abstract

The main aim of this study was to determine sex differences in central and peripheral fatigue produced by a sustained isometric exercise of ankle plantar flexors in healthy young adults. Ten males and fourteen females performed a sustained isometric ankle exercise until task failure. Maximal voluntary isometric contraction torque (plantarflexion), voluntary activation level (using the twitch interpolation technique), and twitch contractile properties (twitch peak torque, twitch half relaxation time, and low frequency fatigue index) were measured before, immediately after, and throughout a recovery period (1, 2, 5, and 10 min) following the exercise protocol in order to characterize neuromuscular fatigue. Fatigue had a significant effect (p {pound} 0.05) on all dependent variables. Other than for the maximal voluntary contraction torque, where males showed a greater fatigue-related decrease than females, males and females showed generally similar changes with fatigue. Altogether, our findings indicate no major differences in central or peripheral fatigue mechanisms between males and females to explain a somewhat greater fatigability in males.