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Effects of Resistance Training Fatigue on Joint Biomechanics

Hooper, David R.; Szivak, Tunde K.; DiStefano, Lindsay J.; Comstock, Brett A.; Dunn-Lewis, Courtenay; Apicella, Jenna M.; Kelly, Neil A.; Creighton, Brent C.; Volek, Jeff S.; Maresh, Carl M.; Kraemer, William J.

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 1 - p 146–153
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825390da
Original Research

Hooper, DR, Szivak, TK, DiStefano, LJ, Comstock, BA, Dunn-Lewis, C, Apicella, JM, Kelly, NA, Creighton, BC, Volek, JS, Maresh, CM, and Kraemer, WJ. Effects of resistance training fatigue on joint biomechanics. J Strength Cond Res 27(1): 146–153, 2013—Resistance training has been found to have a multitude of benefits. However, when performed with short rest, resistance training can result in substantial fatigue, which may have a negative impact on exercise technique. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of fatigue from resistance exercise on joint biomechanics to determine what residual movement effects may exist after the workout. Twelve men with at least 6 months of resistance training experience (age 24 ± 4.2 years, height 173.1 ± 3.6 cm, weight 76.9 ± 7.8 kg) performed 5 body weight squats before (pretest) and after (posttest) a highly fatiguing resistance training workout. Lower extremity biomechanics were assessed using a 3-dimensional motion analysis system during these squats. Peak angle, total displacement, and rate were assessed for knee flexion, trunk flexion, hip flexion, hip rotation, and hip adduction. Results showed a significant decrease in peak angle for knee flexion (Pre: 120.28 ± 11.93°, Post: 104.46 ± 9.85°), hip flexion (Pre: −109.42 ± 12.49°, Post: −95.8 ± 12.30°), and hip adduction (Pre: −23.32 ± 7.04°, Post: −17.30 ± 8.79°). There was a significant reduction in angular displacement for knee flexion (Pre: 115.56 ± 10.55°, Post: 103.35 ± 10.49°), hip flexion (Pre: 97.94 ± 10.69°, Post: 90.51 ± 13.22°), hip adduction (Pre: 17.79 ± 7.36°, Post: 11.89 ± 4.34°), and hip rotation (Pre: 30.72 ± 12.28, Post: 20.48 ± 10.12). There was also a significant reduction in displacement rate for knee flexion (Pre: 2.20 ± 0.20, Post: 1.98 ± 0.20), hip flexion (Pre: 1.92 ± 0.20, Post: 1.76 ± 0.27), hip adduction (Pre: −0.44 ± 0.17, Post: −0.31 ± 0.17), and hip rotation (Pre: 0.59 ± 0.23, Post: 0.38 ± 0.21). This study demonstrated that there are lasting residual effects on movement capabilities after a high-intensity short rest protocol. Thus, strength and conditioning coaches must be careful to monitor movements and exercise techniques after such workouts to prevent injury and optimize subsequent exercise protocols that might be sequenced in order.

Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

Address correspondence to William J. Kraemer,

© 2013 National Strength and Conditioning Association