Document Type : Original Article
Kashmar Higher Education Institute, Kashmar, Iran
Department of Sport Science, University of Bojnord, Bojnord, Iran
Background: An appropriate activity of the vastus medialis oblique (VMO) muscle is important to resist against lateral pull of the vastus lateralis (VL) muscle during knee extension. Females utilize different muscular activation patterns compared to males, and therefore their VMO adaptation to fatiguing exercise may be different from the male. The aim of this study was to investigate sex differences in neuromuscular fatigability of the VMO muscle during submaximal fatiguing sustained contraction. Methods: 24 subjects (12 female and 12 male) were recruited for this study. Maximal isometric voluntary contraction (MIVC), and electromyography (EMG) signals from the VMO muscle was recorded before and after fatiguing sustained contraction at the level of 50% MVIC. Root mean square (RMS) and mean power frequency (MPF) was computed from raw EMG signals. Results: In men, maximal isometric voluntary contraction of quadriceps muscle was significantly higher than women (P > 0.05). Besides, the female participants showed a longer time to task failure over fatiguing sustained contraction as compared to male (P > 0.05). Moreover, EMG RMS significantly increased and MPF decreased over fatiguing sustained contraction. Change in EMG RMS and EMG MPF for female was significantly
larger than the male (P > 0.05). Women showed a greater change in EMG features for the VMO muscle as compared to men during fatiguing sustained contraction. Conclusion: The results indicate that VMO muscle in female is more susceptible to fatigue during a fatiguing sustained contraction as compared to male. As a result, it may increase the risk of patellofemoral malalignment and knee injuries in females.
- Boling, M., Padua, D., Marshall, S., Guskiewicz, K., Pyne, S., Beutler, A. (2010).
Sex differences in the incidence and prevalence of patellofemoral pain syndrome. Scand J Med Sci Sports, 20(5):725-30.
2. Cioni, R., Giannini, F., Paradiso, C., Battistini, N., Navona, C., Starita, A. (1994).
Sex differences in surface EMG interference pattern power spectrum. J Appl Physiol, 77(5):2163-8.
- 3. Clark, B.C, Collier, S.R., Manini, T.M., Ploutz-Snyder, L.L. (2005). Sex differences
in muscle fatigability and activation patterns of the human quadriceps femoris. Eur J
Appl Physiol, 94(1-2):196-206.
4. DeVries, H.A. (1968). "Efficiency of electrical activity" as a physiological measure
of the functional state of muscle tissue. Am J Phys Med, 47(1):10-22.
5. Fagan, V., Delahunt, E. (2008). Patellofemoral pain syndrome: a review on the
associated neuromuscular deficits and current treatment options. Br J Sports Med,
6. Fulkerson, J.P., Arendt, E.A. (2000). Anterior knee pain in females. Clin Orthop
Relat Res, (372):69-73
7. Hedayatpour, N., Arendt-Nielsen, L., Falla, D. (2014). Facilitation of quadriceps
activation is impaired following eccentric exercise. Scand J Med Sci Sports,
8. Hedayatpour, N., Arendt-Nielsen, L., Farina, D. (2007). Motor unit conduction
velocity during sustained contraction of the vastus medialis muscle. Exp Brain Res,
9. Hedayatpour, N., Arendt-Nielsen, L., Farina, D. (2008). Non-uniform
electromyographic activity during fatigue and recovery of the vastus medialis and
lateralis muscles. J Electromyogr Kinesiol, 18(3):390-6.
10. Hedayatpour N., Falla D. (2014) Delayed onset of vastii muscle activity in response
to rapid postural perturbations following eccentric exercise: a mechanism that
underpins knee pain after eccentric exercise? Br J Sports Med, 48(6):429-34.
11. Hedayatpour, N., Falla, D. (2012). Non-uniform muscle adaptations to eccentric
exercise and the implications for training and sport. J Electromyogr Kinesiol.
12. Hedayatpour, N., Falla, D. (2015). Physiological and Neural Adaptations to Eccentric
Exercise: Mechanisms and Considerations for Training. Biomed Res Int,
13. Hedayatpour, N., Falla, D., Arendt-Nielsen, L., Farina, D. (2008). Sensory and
electromyographic mapping during delayed-onset muscle soreness. Med Sci Sports
14. Hedayatpour, N., Falla,D., Arendt-Nielsen, L., Vila-Chã, C., Farina, D. (2009).
Motor unit conduction velocity during sustained contraction after eccentric exercise.
Med Sci Sports Exerc, 41(10):1927-33.
15. Hedayatpour, N., Hassanlouei, H., Arendt-Nielsen, L., Kersting, U.G., Falla, D.
(2011). Delayed-onset muscle soreness alters the response to postural perturbations.
Med Sci Sports Exerc, 43(6):1010-6.
16. Hunter, S.K., Evoke, R.M. (2001). Sex differences in the fatigability of arm muscles
depends on absolute force during isometric contractions. J Appl Physiol, 91(6):
- 17. Kirsch, R.F., Rymer, W.Z. (1992). Neural compensation for fatigue-induced changes
in muscle stiffness during perturbations of elbow angle in human. J Neurophysiol,
18. Miller, A.E, MacDougall, J.D., Tarnopolsky, M.A., Sale, D.G. (1993). Sex
differences in strength and muscle fiber characteristics. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup
19. Nasrabadi, R., Izanloo, Z., Sharifnezad, A., Hamedinia, M.R., Hedayatpour, N.
(2018). Muscle fiber conduction velocity of the vastus medilais and lateralis muscle
after eccentric exercise induced-muscle damage. J Electromyogr Kinesiol, 43:
20. Petersen, W., Ellermann, A., Gösele-Koppenburg, A., Best, R., Rembitzki, I.V.,
Brüggemann, G.P., Liebau, C. (2104). Patellofemoral pain syndrome. Knee Surg
Sports Traumatol Arthrosc, 22(10):2264-74.
21. Powers, C.M. (2000). Patellar kinematics, part I: the influence of vastus muscle
activity in subjects with and without patellofemoral pain. Phys Ther, 80(10):956-64.
22. Simoneau, J.A., Bouchard, C. (1989). Human variation in skeletal muscle fiber-type
proportion and enzyme activities. Am J Physiol, 257(4 Pt 1): E567-72.
23. Souza, D.R., Gross, M.T. (1991). Comparison of vastus medialis obliquus: vastus
lateralis muscle integrated electromyographic ratios between healthy subjects and
patients with patellofemoral pain. Phys Ther, 71(4):310-6.
24. Taunton, J.E., Ryan, M.B., Clement, D.B., McKenzie, D.C., Lloyd-Smith, D.R.,
Zumbo, B.D. (2002). A retrospective case-control analysis of 2002 running injuries.
Br J Sports Med, 36(2):95-101.
25. Tenan, M.S., Peng, Y.L., Hackney, A.C., Griffin. L. (2013). Menstrual cycle mediates
vastus medialis and vastus medialis oblique muscle activity. Med Sci Sports Exerc,
26. Wright, K.E., Lyons, T.S, Navalta, J.W. (2013). Effects of exercise-induced fatigue
on postural balance: a comparison of treadmill versus cycle fatiguing protocols. Eur
J Appl Physiol, 113(5):1303-9.
27. Zazulak, B.T., Ponce, P.L., Straub, S.J., Medvecky, M.J., Avedisian, L., Hewett, T.E.
(2005). Sex comparison of hip muscle activity during single-leg landing. J Orthop
Sports Phys Ther, 35(5):292-9.