Advances in Neuromuscular Adaptations to Exercise, Environment, Injury, and Rehabilitation

A special issue of Sports (ISSN 2075-4663).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 March 2024) | Viewed by 12895

Special Issue Editors

Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Hartford, West Hartford, Connecticut 06032, USA
Interests: neuromuscular physiology; surface electromyography; resistance exercise and training; neuromotor control; human performance

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Guest Editor
Centre d'Expertise de la Performance, INSERM U1093 CAPS, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Burgundy, 21078 Dijon, France
Interests: stretching and flexibility; neuromuscular; resistance training adaptations; fatigue and recovery; sports performance; neuromuscular electrical stimulation
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Guest Editor
Human Performance Research Centre, Sport Science, University Konstanz, 78457 Konstanz, Germany
Interests: neuromuscular performance; motor control and learning; exercise training in models of inactive behavior; balance; plyometrics

Special Issue Information

Neuromuscular adaptations to events such as exercise, environmental change, injury, or rehabilitation have always been an area of interest for researchers and practitioners. Additionally, the time course of the changes in the nervous and muscular systems responding to these events has also been monitored; however, limited information is available and contrasting findings were reported. Recent developments in technology have broadened our ability to examine the entire neuromuscular system (central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and muscle). The aim of this Special Issue is to add to the existing body of literature that seeks to provide more information about neuromuscular adaptations and/or the time course to conditions such as exercise training, environmental changes, injuries, or rehabilitation. We welcome research studies that use traditional or novel techniques to examine and monitor neuromuscular parameters.

Dr. Xin Ye
Dr. Nicolas Babault
Prof. Dr. Markus Gruber
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sports is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Neuromuscular functions
  • Sensorimotor functions
  • Motor unit
  • Muscle activation
  • Muscle fiber
  • Exercise performance
  • Rehabilitative exercise
  • Musculoskeletal injury

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

12 pages, 1088 KiB  
Article
Does Obesity Affect the Rate of Force Development in Plantar Flexor Muscles among Older Adults?
by Hamza Ferhi, Elmoetez Magtouf, Ahmed Attia, Sylvain Durand, Sébastien Boyas, Bruno Beaune, Sabri Gaied Chortane and Wael Maktouf
Sports 2024, 12(4), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports12040089 - 25 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1104
Abstract
The literature offers limited information on the effect of obesity on the rate of force development (RFD), a critical parameter for mobility in older adults. The objectives of this study were to explore the influence of obesity on the RFD in older adults [...] Read more.
The literature offers limited information on the effect of obesity on the rate of force development (RFD), a critical parameter for mobility in older adults. The objectives of this study were to explore the influence of obesity on the RFD in older adults and to examine the association between this neuromuscular parameter and walking speed. The participants (42 older adults) were classified into two groups: the control group (CG, n = 22; mean age = 81.13 ± 4.02 years; body mass index (BMI) = 25.13 ± 3.35 kg/m2), and the obese group (OG, n = 20; mean age = 77.71 ± 2.95 years; BMI = 34.46 ± 3.25 kg/m2). Walking speed (m/s) was measured using the 10 m walking test. Neuromuscular parameters of the plantar flexors were evaluated during a maximal voluntary contraction test using a dynamometer. The RFD was calculated from the linear slop of the force–time curve in the following two phases: from the onset of the contraction to 50 ms (RFD0–50) and from 100 to 200 ms (RFD100–200). The gait speed was lower in the OG compared to the CG (p < 0.001). The RFD50/100 and RFD100/200 were lower in the OG compared to the CG (p < 0.001). The RFD50/100 was found to be the predominant influencer on gait speed in the OG. In conclusion, obesity negatively impacts the RFD in older adults and RFD stands out as the primary factor among the studied parameters influencing gait speed. Full article
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11 pages, 459 KiB  
Article
Orthostasis Is Impaired Due to Fatiguing Intensive Acute Concentric Exercise Succeeded by Isometric Weight-Loaded Wall-Sit in Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness: A Pilot Study
by Balázs Sonkodi, Tamás Radovits, Emese Csulak, Bence Kopper, Nóra Sydó and Béla Merkely
Sports 2023, 11(11), 209; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11110209 - 27 Oct 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2143
Abstract
The aim of the study was to investigate any indication of diminished orthostatic tolerance as a result of fatiguing intensive acute concentric exercise with a successive isometric wall-sit followed by an orthostatic stress test, with a special focus on any distinguishable alterations due [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to investigate any indication of diminished orthostatic tolerance as a result of fatiguing intensive acute concentric exercise with a successive isometric wall-sit followed by an orthostatic stress test, with a special focus on any distinguishable alterations due to a delayed-onset muscle soreness effect. The exercise protocol was carried out among nineteen (10 female, 9 male) junior swimmers from the Hungarian National Swim Team. All athletes showed a positive orthostatic stress test right after our exercise protocol. The diastolic blood pressure was significantly lower due to the delayed-onset muscle soreness effect in the standing position after the supine position of the orthostatic stress test, in contrast to the athletes who did not experience delayed-onset muscle soreness. Furthermore, the heart rate was dysregulated in athletes with a delayed-onset muscle soreness effect when they assumed a supine position after the sustained standing position during the orthostatic stress test, in contrast to the athletes without delayed-onset muscle soreness. Interesting to note is that, in three subjects, the sustained standing position decreased the heart rate below the level of the initial supine position and six athletes experienced dizziness in the standing position, and all of these athletes were from the group that experienced delayed-onset muscle soreness. Accordingly, this study, for the first time, demonstrated that delayed-onset muscle soreness impairs orthostasis after unaccustomed fatiguing intensive acute concentric exercise with a successive isometric weight-loaded wall-sit; however, validation of this association should be investigated in a larger sample size. Full article
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14 pages, 1302 KiB  
Article
The Contralateral Repeated Bout Effect of Elbow Flexors Is Not Observed in Young Women Following Mild Muscle Damage from Eccentric Exercises
by Bailey A. Brown, Xin Ye and Ling Xin
Sports 2023, 11(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11030062 - 9 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1521
Abstract
Investigation of the contralateral repeated bout effect (CL-RBE) in women is scarce. Therefore, this study aimed at examining whether CL-RBE exists in women. Twelve healthy women (age: 20.9 ± 2.5 years) performed two bouts of maximal elbow flexor eccentric exercise (3 sets × [...] Read more.
Investigation of the contralateral repeated bout effect (CL-RBE) in women is scarce. Therefore, this study aimed at examining whether CL-RBE exists in women. Twelve healthy women (age: 20.9 ± 2.5 years) performed two bouts of maximal elbow flexor eccentric exercise (3 sets × 15 repetitions per bout) separated by 14 days, using the opposite arms. Surface Electromyography (EMG) was recorded during both exercise bouts. The isokinetic muscle strength (60°/s), muscle soreness, range of motion (ROM), limb girth, and blood creatine kinase activity were measured pre-exercise, and at 24 and 48 h post-exercise with the muscle strength being measured immediately post-exercise as well. Significant main effects of time were observed for muscle strength, muscle soreness and ROM (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences between bouts for all the measured variables including the EMG median frequency (p > 0.05). These results suggest that the CL-RBE of elbow flexors was not evident in young healthy women. This was because the mild muscle damage induced by the initial bout of exercise was either not enough to initiate the CL-RBE or the CL-RBE in women lasted shorter than two weeks. This study provides important information for future studies on CL-RBE in women. Full article
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11 pages, 1707 KiB  
Article
Acute, Non-Specific Low Back Pain Does Not Impair Isometric Deadlift Force or Electromyographic Excitation: A Cross-Sectional Study
by Matt S. Stock, Megan E. Bodden, Jenna M. Bloch, Karen L. Starnes, Gabriela Rodriguez and Ryan M. Girts
Sports 2022, 10(11), 168; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10110168 - 31 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3167
Abstract
Low back pain (LBP) is a leading cause of disability. The use of deadlift-based assessments in assessing LBP is becoming common in clinical settings, but these concepts have not been well studied. We sought to compare force and muscle excitation during isometric deadlifts [...] Read more.
Low back pain (LBP) is a leading cause of disability. The use of deadlift-based assessments in assessing LBP is becoming common in clinical settings, but these concepts have not been well studied. We sought to compare force and muscle excitation during isometric deadlifts in participants suffering from LBP versus asymptomatic controls. We also compared these outcomes for conventional versus hexagonal barbells. Sixteen adults with mild-to-moderate, acute, non-specific LBP and 19 controls performed maximal, isometric deadlifts while standing on a force plate using conventional and hexagonal barbells. Surface electromyographic signals were recorded from the upper trapezius, external oblique, erector spinae, vastus lateralis, and biceps femoris. Normalized peak force and peak rate of force development were similar for those with acute, non-specific LBP and controls. Surface electromyographic excitation was not different between groups, but was higher with the hexagonal barbell for the vastus lateralis and upper trapezius. Both groups felt equally safe and confident. In summary, the presence of acute, non-specific LBP did not impair peak and rapid force or muscle excitation. Hexagonal barbells may optimize knee extensor and trapezius activation. Deadlift-based force assessments appear safe and may be useful in the assessment of functional strength in patients with acute, non-specific LBP. Full article
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12 pages, 1366 KiB  
Article
Modulation of Lower-Limb Muscle Activity in Maintaining Unipedal Balance According to Surface Stability, Sway Direction, and Leg Dominance
by Arunee Promsri
Sports 2022, 10(10), 155; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10100155 - 17 Oct 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2179
Abstract
Determining temporal similarity in shape between electromyographic (EMG) and center-of-pressure (COP) signals reflects neuromuscular control in terms of which relevant muscles are involved in maintaining balance. The current study aimed to investigate a cross-correlation between seven lower-limb EMG activities and COP displacements, simultaneously [...] Read more.
Determining temporal similarity in shape between electromyographic (EMG) and center-of-pressure (COP) signals reflects neuromuscular control in terms of which relevant muscles are involved in maintaining balance. The current study aimed to investigate a cross-correlation between seven lower-limb EMG activities and COP displacements, simultaneously measured in 25 young adults unipedally balancing on stable and multiaxial-unstable surfaces. The effect of surface stability, sway direction, and leg dominance was then tested on two EMG–COP correlation levels: individual muscles and groups (patterns) of multi-muscles involved in postural sway, as determined by principal component analysis (PCA). The results show that two factors demonstrate their effects only at the level of individual muscles: sway direction (p ≤ 0.003) and leg dominance (p = 0.003). Specifically, the semitendinosus, tibialis anterior, peroneus longus, and soleus correlate more with the mediolateral postural sway than with the anteroposterior postural sway, except for the gastrocnemius medialis. Additionally, balancing on the non-dominant leg shows a lower correlation between the semitendinosus and postural sway than on the dominant leg. The current findings suggest that when achieving unipedal equilibrium, the postural control system may be constrained the most in the specific muscles of the least steady conditions, e.g., the frontal plane and non-preferred leg. Full article
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10 pages, 2505 KiB  
Article
Wide-Pulse High-Frequency Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Evokes Greater Relative Force in Women Than in Men: A Pilot Study
by Xin Ye, Nathan Gockel, Daniel Vala, Teagan Devoe, Patrick Brodoff, Victor Gaza, Vinz Umali and Hayden Walker
Sports 2022, 10(9), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports10090134 - 5 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1545
Abstract
This study aimed to examine the potential sex differences in wide-pulse high-frequency neuromuscular electrical stimulation (WPHF NMES)-evoked force. Twenty-two subjects (10 women) completed this study. Prior to the stimulation, the visual analogue scale (VAS) for discomfort and the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) [...] Read more.
This study aimed to examine the potential sex differences in wide-pulse high-frequency neuromuscular electrical stimulation (WPHF NMES)-evoked force. Twenty-two subjects (10 women) completed this study. Prior to the stimulation, the visual analogue scale (VAS) for discomfort and the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured, followed by the isometric strength of the dominant elbow flexor muscles. The subjects then completed ten, 10-s on 10-s off WPHF NMES (pulse width: 1 ms, frequency: 100 Hz) at maximum tolerable intensities. The subjects’ RPE was recorded after each set, and the VAS was measured following the last stimulation. The stimulation induced significant increase in discomfort for both sexes, with women having greater discomfort than men (men: 22.4 ± 14.9 mm, women: 39.7 ± 12.7 mm). The stimulation amplitude was significantly greater in men than in women (men: 16.2 ± 6.3 mA, women: 12.0 ± 4.5 mA). For the evoked force, only the relative NMES-evoked force was found greater in women than in men (men: 8.96 ± 6.51%, women: 17.08 ± 12.61%). In conclusion, even at the maximum tolerable intensity, WPHF NMES evoked larger relative elbow flexion force in women than in men, with women experiencing greater discomfort. Full article
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