Article: article from journal or magazin.
Spinal modulations accompany peripheral fatigue during prolonged tennis playing.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
To examine the time course of alteration in neural process (spinal loop properties) during prolonged tennis playing, 12 competitive players performed a series of neuromuscular tests every 30 min during a 3-h match protocol. Muscle activation (twitch interpolation) and normalized EMG activity were assessed during maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) of plantar flexors. Spinal reflexes and M-waves were evoked at rest (i.e., H(max) and M(max) , respectively) and during MVC (i.e., H(sup) , V-wave, M(sup) , respectively). MVC torque declined significantly (P<0.001) across the match protocol, due to decrease (P<0.001) in muscle activation and in normalized EMG activity. The impairment in MVC was significantly correlated (r=0.77; P<0.05) with the decline in muscle activation. H(max) /M(max) (P<0.001), H(sup) /M(sup) (P<0.01) and V/M(sup) (P<0.05) ratios were depressed with fatigue and decreased by ∼80%, 46% and 61% at the end of exercise, respectively. Simultaneously, peak twitch torque and M-wave amplitude were significantly (P<0.01) altered with exercise, suggesting peripheral alterations. During prolonged tennis playing, the compromised voluntary strength capacity is linked to a reduced neural input to the working muscles. This central activation deficit partly results from a modulation in spinal loop properties.
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