Cycling Versus Uphill Walking: Impact on Locomotor Muscle Fatigue and Running Exercise

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To describe the effects of uphill walking versus cycling exercises on knee-extensor (KE) neuromuscular properties and subsequent running exercise. Methods: Nine athletes performed 4 different sessions (1 familiarization and 3 experimental sessions, visit 2–4). Visit 2 (cycling +10-km condition) consisted of the completion of 1-h cycling followed by a 10-km running time trial. Visit 3 consisted of the completion of 1-h uphill walking followed by a 10-km running exercise (RE). During the fourth visit, athletes only ran 10 km. Visits 3 and 4 were randomized. The uphill walking and cycling exercises were performed at the same intensity, and pacing of the RE was similar between conditions. Neuromuscular function of the KE was assessed before warm-up, after first exercise, and after RE. Heart rate and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded during all exercises. Results: RPE during RE was greater following the 1-h cycling and uphill walking exercises than during RE alone. KE force (−21%), twitch torque (−20%), doublet torque (−16%), and twitch rate of force development (−13%) significantly decreased following cycling exercise and not after uphill walking exercise. Postactivation potentiation was observed after uphill walking and RE. KE force-production capacity partially recovered after running in the cycling +10-km condition. Conclusion: Uphill walking and running induced postactivation potentiation, limiting the decrease in KE force postexercise. Despite different alterations in force-production capacity induced by cycling and uphill walking, both exercises increased perception of effort during the subsequent RE.

The authors are with the UFR des Sciences du Sport, Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Dijon, France.

Pageaux (benjaminpageaux@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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