Muscle activation and knee biomechanics during squatting and lunging after lower extremity fatigue in healthy young women
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Muscle activations and knee joint loads were compared during squatting and lunging before and after lower extremity neuromuscular fatigue. Electromyographic activations of the rectus femoris, vastus lateralis and biceps femoris, and the external knee adduction and flexion moments were collected on 25 healthy women (mean age 23.5 years, BMI of 23.7 kg/m(2)) during squatting and lunging. Participants were fatigued through sets of 50 isotonic knee extensions and flexions, with resistance set at 50% of the peak torque achieved during a maximum voluntary isometric contraction. Fatigue was defined as a decrease in peak isometric knee extension or flexion torque ≥25% from baseline. Co-activation indices were calculated between rectus femoris and biceps femoris; and between vastus lateralis and biceps femoris. Fatigue decreased peak isometric extension and flexion torques (p<0.05), mean vastus lateralis activation during squatting and lunging (p<0.05), and knee adduction and flexion moments during lunging (p<0.05). Quadriceps activations were greater during lunging than squatting (p<0.05). Thus, fatigue altered the recruitment strategy of the quadriceps during squatting and lunging. Lunging challenges quadriceps activation more than squatting in healthy, young women.
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