Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2009) 08, 543 - 547

Research article
Repeated Abdominal Exercise Induces Respiratory Muscle Fatigue
Christopher L. Gomez, Lisa M. Strongoli, J. Richard Coast 
Author Information
SA Rasmussen Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA.

J. Richard Coast
✉ SA Rasmussen Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA.
Publish Date
Received: 02-07-2009
Accepted: 19-08-2009
Published (online): 01-12-2009
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Prolonged bouts of hyperpnea or resisted breathing are known to result in respiratory muscle fatigue, as are primarily non respiratory exercises such as maximal running and cycling. These exercises have a large ventilatory component, though, and can still be argued to be respiratory activities. Sit-up training has been used to increase respiratory muscle strength, but no studies have been done to determine whether this type of non-respiratory activity can lead to respiratory fatigue. The purpose of the study was to test the effect of sit-ups on various respiratory muscle strength and endurance parameters. Eight subjects performed pulmonary function, maximum inspiratory pressure (MIP) and maximum expiratory pressure (MEP) measurements, and an incremental breathing test before and after completing a one-time fatiguing exercise bout of sit-ups. Each subject acted as their own control performing the same measurements 3-5 days following the exercise bout, substituting rest for exercise. Following sit-up induced fatigue, significant decreases were measured in MIP [121.6 ± 26 to 113.8 ± 23 cmH2O (P <0.025)], and incremental breathing test duration [9.6 ± 1.5 to 8.5 ± 0.7 minutes (P <0.05)]. No significant decreases were observed from control pre-test to control post-test measurements. We conclude that after a one-time fatiguing sit-up exercise bout there is a reduction in respiratory muscle strength (MIP, MEP) and endurance (incremental breathing test duration) but not spirometric pulmonary function.

Key words: Maximal inspiratory pressure, endurance breathing test, inspiratory muscles, sit-ups

           Key Points
  • Exercise that is primarily abdominal in nature can lead to inspiratory muscle fatigue.
  • This exercise also can cause expiratory muscle fatigue, which would be expected.
  • This study shows a link between a predominantly non-respiratory exercise and decreases in both respiratory muscle strength and endurance.
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