Effects of fatigue on trunk stability in elite gymnasts
The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that fatigue due to exercises performed in training leads to a decrement of trunk stability in elite, female gymnasts.
Nine female gymnasts participated in the study. To fatigue trunk muscles, four series of five dump handstands on the uneven bar were performed. Sway amplitude and frequency in unperturbed sitting were determined. The maximum displacement and rate of recovery of the centre of pressure location after the sudden release were determined and averaged over trials. After the fatigue protocol, sway amplitude in the fore-aft direction was significantly increased (p = 0.03), while sway frequency was decreased (p = 0.005). In addition, the maximum displacement after the sudden release was increased (p = 0.009), while the rate of recovery after the perturbation was decreased (p = 0.05). Fatigue induced by series of exercises representing a realistic training load caused a measurable decrement in dynamic stability of the trunk in elite gymnasts.
In conclusion, the present study showed that trunk stability in elite gymnasts was negatively affected by a bout of exercises, which reflected normal training activities. Both sagittal plane sway in unperturbed balancing and recovery after a backward balance perturbation were affected. These results suggest that fatigue effects on trunk stability should be taken into account in the planning and design of gymnastics training. > From: Van Dieën et al., Eur J Appl Physiol 112 (2014) 1307-1313. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the Pubmed summary.