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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 April;57(4):353-61

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06129-6

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Neuromuscular fatigue and time motion analysis during a table tennis competition

Yann LE MANSEC, Carole SEVE, Marc JUBEAU

Laboratory “Movement, Interactions, Performance” (EA4334), Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Nantes, Nantes, France


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BACKGROUND: This study aimed to determine the neuromuscular fatigue (central versus peripheral mechanisms) as well as the game characteristics and physical demand induced by a simulated table tennis competition.
METHODS: Fourteen national table tennis players participated in this study, in which neuromuscular tests (i.e., maximal voluntary contractions, voluntary activation and twitch properties of the knee extensor muscles) were performed before and immediately after four games of five sets of table tennis to assess both the magnitude of fatigue and its origin. The game characteristics and the physical demand of the players (low-, moderate- and high-intensity actions) were identified using time motion analysis methodology.
RESULTS: A significant decrease (-12.5±9.0%) of force was observed at the end of the competition. Voluntary activation significantly decreased at the end of the competition, from 89.4±3.5% to 81.6±7.3%. Electrical and contractile properties were also significantly reduced after the first game (approximately 15% for both the potentiated doublet and M-wave amplitude) and did not decrease thereafter. Moreover, low and moderate actions represented an important portion (84.3±4.7%) of the actions performed by the players, whereas high intensity actions represented 15.7±4.7%.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated that a simulated table tennis competition induced significant fatigue due to central and peripheral alterations. Our study also demonstrated that a large proportion of the actions performed by the players during table tennis can be considered low to moderate intensity actions.


KEY WORDS: EMG - Quadriceps - Muscle activation - Maximal voluntary contraction - Racket sports

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