The purpose of this study was to investigate whether high-intensity cycling training leads to adapted responses of balance performance in response to exercise-induced muscle fatigue.
Eighteen healthy adults were assigned to either 3-weeks (n = 8, age 20.1 ± 2.6 years, height 177 ± 5 cm, mass 73.6 ± 5.1 kg) or 6-weeks (n = 10, age 24.3 ± 5.8 years, height 179 ± 6 cm, mass 81.0 ± 15.8 kg) of high-intensity training (HIT) on a cycle ergometer. The centre of pressure (COP) displacement in the anteroposterior (COPAP) direction and COP path length (COPL) were measured before and after the first and final high-intensity training sessions.
Pre-training, exercise-induced fatigue elicited an increase in COPAP (3-weeks; p = 0.001, 6-weeks; p = 0.001) and COPL (3-weeks; p = 0.002, 6-weeks; p = 0.001) returning to pre-exercise levels within 10-min of recovery. Following 3-weeks of training, significant increases in COPAP (p = 0.001) and COPL (p = 0.002) were observed post-fatigue, returning to pre-exercise levels after 15-min of recovery. After 6-weeks of training no significant increases in sway (COPAP; p = 0.212, COPL; p = 0.998) were observed following exercise-induced fatigue.
In summary, 3 weeks of HIT resulted in longer recovery times following fatigue compared to pre-training assessments. After 6 weeks of HIT, postural sway following fatigue was attenuated. These results indicate that HIT could be included in injury prevention programmes, however, caution should be taken during early stages of the overreaching process.
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