Twitch contractile properties of plantarflexor muscles in young and middle-aged recreationally physically active and non-active women
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- Kuu, S., Gapeyeva, H., Ereline, J. et al. Aging Clin Exp Res (2007) 19: 48. doi:10.1007/BF03325210
Background and aims: This study examined the effect of recreational physical activity on the contractile properties of skeletal muscles in middle- aged vs young women. Methods: A total 74 young (20–29-year-old) and middle-aged (45–54-year-old) women participated. The subjects were distributed into four groups: 1) young recreationally physically active (RPA) (n=19), 2) young recreationally physically non-active (RPN) (n=21), 3) middle-aged RPA (n=23) and 4) middle-aged RPN (n=16). RPA women exercised regularly in groups of recreational gymnastics 2–3 times per week. Isometric twitch of the plantarflexor muscles was evoked by supramaximal electrical stimulation of the tibial nerve in resting and post-activation potentiation state. Results: A greater resting twitch maximal rate of force development (RFD), and potentiated twitch peak force (PF) and maximal rate of relaxation (RR) were observed in the young RPA women compared with the two middle-aged women groups. In young RPN women, these characteristics were greater than in the middle-aged RPN women, whereas they did not differ significantly when compared with the middle- aged RPA women. A shorter resting and potentiated twitch contraction time, and a greater potentiated twitch maximal RFD were found in the young compared with the middle-aged groups. There were no significant differences in twitch characteristics between RPA and RPN women of similar age. Conclusions: The recreational gymnastic type of physical activity did not have a marked effect on twitch contractile properties in young and middle-aged women. A reduced speed of isometric twitch contraction was found in middle-aged women, which was more pronounced in the post-activation potentiation state.