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
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2024) 23, 425 - 435   DOI:

Research article
The Duration of Non-Local Muscle Fatigue Effects
Ali Zahiri1, Reza Goudini1, Shahab Alizadeh1,2, Abdolhamid Daneshjoo3, Mohamed MI Mahmoud1, Andreas Konrad1,4, Urs Granacher5, David G Behm1, 
Author Information
1 School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
2 Department of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
3 Department of Sport Injuries and Corrective Exercises, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran
4 Institute of Human Movement Science, Sport and Health, Graz University, Graz, Austria
5 University of Freiburg, Department of Sport and Sport Science, Exercise and Human Movement Science, Freiburg, Germany

David G Behm
✉ School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
Publish Date
Received: 25-03-2024
Accepted: 03-05-2024
Published (online): 01-06-2024

Non-local muscle fatigue (NLMF) refers to a transient decline in the functioning of a non-exercised muscle following the fatigue of a different muscle group. Most studies examining NLMF conducted post-tests immediately after the fatiguing protocols, leaving the duration of these effects uncertain. The aim of this study was to investigate the duration of NLMF (1-, 3-, and 5-minutes). In this randomized crossover study, 17 recreationally trained participants (four females) were tested for the acute effects of unilateral knee extensor (KE) muscle fatigue on the contralateral homologous muscle strength, and activation. Each of the four sessions included testing at either 1-, 3-, or 5-minutes post-test, as well as a control condition for non-dominant KE peak force, instantaneous strength (force produced within the first 100-ms), and vastus lateralis and biceps femoris electromyography (EMG). The dominant KE fatigue intervention protocol involved two sets of 100-seconds maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC) separated by 1-minute of rest. Non-dominant KE MVIC forces showed moderate and small magnitude reductions at 1-min (p < 0.0001, d = 0.72) and 3-min (p = 0.005, d = 0.30) post-test respectively. The KE MVIC instantaneous strength revealed large magnitude, significant reductions between 1-min (p = 0.021, d = 1.33), and 3-min (p = 0.041, d = 1.13) compared with the control. In addition, EMG data revealed large magnitude increases with the 1-minute versus control condition (p = 0.03, d = 1.10). In summary, impairments of the non-exercised leg were apparent up to 3-minutes post-exercise with no significant deficits at 5-minutes. Recovery duration plays a crucial role in the manifestation of NLMF.

Key words: Crossover fatigue, contralateral muscles, homologous muscles, isometric, recovery

           Key Points
  • Quadriceps NLMF effects were evident within recovery times of 1- and 3-minutes.
  • No significant NLMF was observed at the 5-minute recovery period.
  • Hamstrings (knee flexion) MVIC force and instantaneous strength did not reveal a consistent or predictable pattern.
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