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Date: 14 Jun 2012

Effects of fatiguing isometric and isokinetic ankle exercises on postural control while standing on firm and compliant surfaces

Abstract

Background

Fatiguing exercises used across studies to induce alterations in postural control are diverse and may explain the different findings reported. This study aimed to compare the effects of two types of fatiguing plantarflexion exercises on postural control on a firm and a compliant surface. Ten healthy young men (29 ± 4 years) were asked to stand as steadily as possible for 30 s, blindfolded with feet together, on a firm and a compliant surface before and immediately after an isometric and an isokinetic fatiguing exercise.

Results

Maximal force reduction due to fatigue was found significant but similar between exercises. No significant difference was found between the fatiguing exercises on all Center of Pressure (CoP) parameters. Both fatiguing exercises induced increases in CoP excursion area, CoP variability and CoP velocity in both planes (antero-posterior, mediolateral) on the compliant surface. On the firm surface, both fatiguing exercises only induced increases in CoP variability and CoP velocity in the fatigued plane (antero-posterior).

Conclusions

Isometric and isokinetic fatiguing exercises, when producing a similar level of force reduction, induce similar decreases in postural control. The effects of fatigue on postural control in healthy young men are more pronounced when standing on a compliant surface, i.e. when proprioceptive information at the ankle is altered.