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Dynamometric Indicators of Fatigue From Repeated Maximal Concentric Isokinetic Plantar Flexion Contractions Are Independent of Knee Flexion Angles and Age but Differ for Males and Females

Hébert-Losier, Kim; Holmberg, Hans-Christer

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: March 2014 - Volume 28 - Issue 3 - p 843–855
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182a993a0
Original Research

Abstract: Hébert-Losier, K and Holmberg, HC. Dynamometric indicators of fatigue from repeated maximal concentric isokinetic plantar flexion contractions are independent of knee flexion angles and age but differ for males and females. J Strength Cond Res 28(3): 843–855, 2014—Sex and age are reported to influence the maximal dynamometric performance of major muscle groups, inclusive of ankle plantar flexors. Knee flexion (KF) also impacts plantar flexion function from where stems use of 0° and 45° angles of KF for clinical assessment of gastrocnemius and soleus, respectively. The influence of KF, sex, and age on dynamometric indicators of plantar flexion fatigue was examined in 28 males and 28 females recruited in 2 different age groups (older and younger than 40 years). Each subject performed 50 maximal concentric isokinetic plantar flexions at 60-degree angle per·second with 0° and 45° angles of KF. Maximal voluntary isometric contractions were determined before and after isokinetic trials and maximal, minimal, and normalized linear slopes of peak power during testing. Main effects of and 2-way interactions between KF, sex, age, and order of testing were explored using mixed-effect models and stepwise regressions. At angles of 0° and 45°, the fatigue indicators in younger and older individuals were similar and not influenced by testing order. However, peak isokinetic power and isometric torque declined to greater extents in males than females and, moreover, KF exerted greater impacts on the absolute plantar flexion performance and maximal-to-minimal reduction in isokinetic power in males. Because KF wielded no pronounced effect on fatigue indicators, this test may perhaps be used over time with no major concern regarding the exact knee angle. Our findings indicate that sex, rather than age, should be considered when interpreting dynamometric indicators of fatigue from repeated maximal concentric isokinetic plantar flexions, for example, when establishing normative values or comparing outcomes.

Department of Health Sciences, Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, Mid Sweden University, Östersund, Sweden

Address correspondence to Kim Hébert-Losierkim, kim.hebert-losier@miun.se.

Copyright © 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.