Vastus lateralis fatigue alters recruitment of musculus quadriceps femoris in humans

Hiroshi Akima, Jeanne M. Foley, Barry M. Prior, Gary A. Dudley, Ronald A. Meyer
2002 Journal of applied physiology  
Vastus lateralis fatigue alters recruitment of musculus quadriceps femoris in humans. J Appl Physiol 92: 679-684, 2002; 10.1152/ japplphysiol.00267.2001.-This study tested the hypothesis that fatigue of a single member of musculus quadriceps femoris (QF) would alter use of the other three muscles during knee extension exercise (KEE). Six men performed KEE with the left QF at a load equal to 50% of the 4 ϫ 10 repetitions maximum. Subsequently, electromyostimulation (EMS), intended to stimulate
more » ... d fatigue the left m. vastus lateralis (VL), was applied for 30 min. Immediately after EMS, subjects repeated the KEE. Transverse relaxation time (T2)-weighted magnetic resonance images were taken before and after each bout of KEE and at 3 and 30 min of EMS to assess use and stimulation, respectively, of the QF. T2 of each of the QF muscles was increased 8-13% after the first KEE. During EMS, T2 increased (P Ͻ 0.05) even more in VL (10%), whereas it decreased (P Ͻ 0.05) to pre-KEE levels in m. vastus medials (VM) and m. rectus femoris (RF). The VL and, to some extent, the m. vastus intermedius were stimulated, whereas the VM and RF were not, thereby recovering from the first bout of KEE. Isometric torque, initially 30% of maximal voluntary, was reduced to 13% at 3 min and 7% at 30 min. T2 was greater (P Ͻ 0.05) after the second than the first bout of KEE, especially the increase for the VM and RF. These results suggest that subjects were able to perform the second bout with little contribution of the VL by greater use of the other QF muscles. The simplest explanation is increased central command to the QF such that the intended act could be accomplished despite acute fatigue of one of its synergists.
doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00267.2001 pmid:11796681 fatcat:cew7exdfjral7mgvxbt4xb6pg4