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Muscle Nerve. 2012 Aug;46(2):210-7. doi: 10.1002/mus.23289.

Factors relating to gender specificity of unloading-induced declines in strength.

Author information

  • 1Department of Kinesiology & Health Sciences, The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-8795, USA. mrdesc@wm.edu

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

This investigation aimed to: (1) confirm whether women were more vulnerable to the negative neuromuscular adaptations elicited by muscle unloading and if so, (2) determine which physiological mechanism(s) explain those gender-related differences.

METHODS:

Healthy young men (20.7 ± 0.3 years) and women (20.3 ± 0.3 years)-(N = 12/group)-participated by completing neuromuscular functional tests before and after 7 days of unloading.

RESULTS:

During isokinetic testing of peak torque, work performed, and power, women displayed significantly (P ≤ 0.05) greater declines in performance than men at 1.05 and 2.09, but not 0.53 rads/s. During maximal isometric contractions, women experienced greater strength decrements. Similar gender-specific adaptations to unloading were found in EMG activity, but not muscle mass, neuromuscular transmission, or force relative to EMG.

CONCLUSIONS:

Women are more susceptible to the adaptations of muscle unloading, and disturbances in neural drive from the central nervous system are probably responsible.

Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

PMID:
22806370
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3400118
Free PMC Article
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