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The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of unilateral and bilateral fatigue on both postural and power bipedal tasks. Ten healthy subjects performed two tasks: bipedal quiet standing and a maximal bipedal counter-movement jumping before and after unilateral (with either the dominant or nondominant lower limb) and bilateral (with both lower limbs) fatigue. We employed two force plates (one under each lower limb) to measure the ground reaction forces and center of pressure produced by subjects during the tasks. To quantify the postural sway during quiet standing, we calculated the resultant center of pressure (COP) speed and COP area of sway, as well as the mean weight distribution between lower limbs. To quantify the performance during the countermovement jumping, we calculated the jump height and the peak force of each lower limb. We observed that both unilateral and bilateral fatigue affected the performance of maximal voluntary jumping and standing tasks and that the effects of unilateral and bilateral fatigue were stronger in the dominant limb than in the nondominant limb during bipedal tasks. We conclude that unilateral neuromuscular fatigue affects both postural and power tasks negatively.
Paulo H. Marchetti (Corresponding Author) is with the Faculty of Physical Education (YMCA), Sorocaba, Brazil, and with the Methodist University of Piracicaba, Piracicaba, Brazil. Maria I.V. Orselli is with Vita Institute, Brazil. Marcos Duarte is with the Biomedical Engineering program, Federal University of ABC, Brazil.