The aim of this study was to examine the fatigue and recovery in boys and men during a maximal intermittent isometric fatigue test of the knee extensor muscles, by evaluating the electromyogram of vastus lateralis, vastus medialis and biceps femoris. Thirteen boys (10.0 ± 0.8yrs) and 13 men (26.1 ± 4.2yrs) were fatigued until torque reached 50% of its initial value. Three and 6 min after, a maximal isometric knee extension test was assessed. Men had faster torque decline during fatigue and slower torque recovery compared with boys. Agonist activity declined in both groups during fatigue but men had greater extent of reduction. After 6 min boys recovered fully in respect to agonist EMG, whereas this was not the case for the men. The lower level of fatigue and faster recovery in boys could be attributed to the limited inhibition that was observed in the boys’ agonist muscles, whereas the antagonist activity does not seem to play a role in the fatigue or recovery differences between the groups.
Armatas, Bassa, Patikas, Zangelidis, and Kotzamanidis are with the Laboratory of Coaching and Sport Performance, Dept. of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece. Kitsas is with the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, Greece.