Absence of gender differences in the fatigability of the forearm muscles during intermittent isometric handgrip exercise

Joaquin U. Gonzales, Barry W. Scheuermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous studies have reported women to have a greater resistance to fatigue than men during sustained handgrip exercise, however, observed gender differences in fatigue has been shown to be a function of contraction type. The purpose of the present study was to determine if gender differences exist in forearm muscle fatigue during intermittent handgrip contractions. Women [n = 11, 23.5 ± 1.5 (SE) yr] and men (n = 11, 24.1 ± 1.5 yr) performed intermittent isometric handgrip contractions at a target force of 50% of maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) for 5 s followed by 5 s rest until task failure. Rate of fatigue was calculated from MVCs taken every 2 min during exercise, and recovery of muscle strength was measured in 5 min increments until 45 min post-task failure. Forearm muscle strength was less for women than men (W: 341.5 ± 11.9 N; M: 480.2 ± 28.0 N; p ≤ 0.05). No gender difference was present in time to task failure (W: 793.3 ± 92.5 s; M: 684.8 ± 76.3 s) or in the decrease in muscle force generating capacity at task failure (W: -47.6 ± 1.0%; M: -49.9 ± 1.3%). Rate of muscle fatigue was found to be similar between women and men (W: -3.6 ± 0.5 %·min-1; M: - 4.3 ± 0.6 %·min-1) and no gender difference was found in the recovery of muscle strength following task failure. In summary, no gender difference was found in the fatigability of the forearm muscles during intermittent submaximal handgrip contractions, independent of muscle strength.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-105
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Sports Science and Medicine
Volume6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007

Keywords

  • Gender differences
  • Handgrip
  • Muscle fatigue

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