No sex differences in time-to-task failure and neuromuscular patterns of response during submaximal, bilateral, isometric leg extensions

Brian Benitez, Minyoung Kwak, Pasquale J. Succi, Clara Mitchinson, Haley C. Bergstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In general, it has been suggested that females are more fatigue-resistant than males, with the magnitude of difference being most pronounced during low-intensity sustained contractions. However, the mechanisms for the apparent sex difference have not yet been fully elucidated in the literature. This study aimed to examine sex-related differences in fatigability and patterns of neuromuscular responses for surface electromyographic (sEMG) and mechanomyographic (sMMG) amplitude and frequency (MPF) characteristics during a sustained submaximal bilateral, isometric leg extension muscle action. Methods: A sample of 20 young recreationally active males and females with previous resistance training experience performed a sustained, submaximal, bilateral isometric leg extension until task failure. Time-to-task failure was compared using a nonparametric bootstrap of the 95% confidence interval for the mean difference between males and females. Additionally, patterns of response for sEMG and sMMG amplitude and MPF of the dominant limb were examined using linear mixed effect models. Results: There were no differences in time-to-task failure between males and females. Additionally, neuromuscular responses revealed similar patterns of responses between males and females. Interestingly, sEMG amplitude and sMMG amplitude and MPF all revealed non-linear responses, while sEMG MPF demonstrated linear responses. Conclusion: These data revealed that time-to-task failure was not different between males and females during sustained submaximal bilateral, isometric leg extension. Interestingly, the parallel, non-linear, increases in sEMG and sMMG amplitude may indicate fatigue induced increases in motor unit recruitment, while the parallel decreases in sMMG MPF may be explained by the intrinsic properties of later recruited motor units, which may have inherently lower firing rates than those recruited earlier.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2024.

Keywords

  • Fatigue resistance
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Neuromuscular fatigue
  • Performance fatigability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)

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