Fatigue- and training-related changes in `beta' intermuscular interactions between agonist muscles

  • Charissou Camille
  • Vigouroux Laurent
  • Berton Eric
  • Amarantini David


The synchronous activation of the muscles involved in force production is crucial for the neuromuscular performance, but the underlying mechanisms remain to be fully elucidated. Our aim was thus to contribute to understand the mechanisms involved in the synergistic activation of agonist muscles. Through wavelet-based time-frequency analysis, this study investigated the modulation of `beta' intermuscular interactions (IM) during maximum isometric knee extensions performed before and after repetitive submaximal fatiguing contractions. Three groups of participants were included: 9 untrained subjects (control group, CO), 10 elite rugby league players (strength-trained group, ST) and 7 trail runners (endurance-trained group, ED), engaged for 5+ years in intense strength and endurance training, respectively. Before fatigue, CO showed higher IM when compared to ED, and a trend to higher IM when compared to ST. Following fatiguing contractions, all groups showed a decline in neuromuscular performance concomitant with a change (decline) in IM values for CO only. No differences were found between ST and ED regarding to IM either before or after fatiguing contractions. These findings suggested both a form of optimization of intermuscular coupling in trained individuals and the functional importance of intermuscular coupling as a mechanism responsible for the maintenance of the neuromuscular performance. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.