Effects of submaximal fatiguing contractions on the components of dynamic stability control after forward falls

Mark Walsh, Andreas Peper, Stefanie Bierbaum, Kiros Karamanidis, Adamantios Arampatzis

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


The present study aimed to investigate the effect of lower extremity muscle fatigue on the dynamic stability control of physically active adults during forward falls. Thirteen participants (body mass: 70.2kg, height: 175cm) were instructed to regain balance with a single step after a sudden induced fall from a forward-leaning position before and after the fatigue protocol. The ground reaction forces were collected using four force plates at a sampling rate of 1080Hz. Kinematic data were recorded with 12 vicon cameras operating at 120Hz. Neither the reaction time nor the duration until touchdown showed any differences (p>0.05). The ability of the subjects to prevent falling did not change after the fatigue protocol. In the fatigued condition, the participants demonstrated an increase in knee flexion during the main stance phase and an increased time to decelerate the horizontal CM motion (both p<0.05). Significant (p<0.05) decreases were seen post-fatigue in average horizontal and vertical force and maximum knee and ankle joint moments. The fatigue related decrease in muscle strength did not affect the margin of stability, the boundary of the base of support or the position of the extrapolated centre of mass during the forward induced falls, indicating an appropriate adjustment of the motor commands to compensate the deficit in muscle strength.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of electromyography and kinesiology : official journal of the International Society of Electrophysiological Kinesiology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)270-275
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2011

Research areas and keywords

  • Accidental Falls
  • Adult
  • Feedback, Physiological
  • Female
  • Foot
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Fatigue
  • Postural Balance
  • Posture
  • Stress, Mechanical


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