The authors compared the time to task failure and muscle activation for a sustained isometric submaximal contraction with the dorsiflexor muscles when the support of the foot varied while supporting an inertial load (position task). Participants performed a supported position task (n = 8) or an unsupported position task (n = 15) while maintaining a constant angle at the ankle with an inertial load equivalent to 20% of maximal isometric contraction torque until task failure. The time to failure for the supported position task (M = 15.4 min, SD = 6.8 min) was longer than for the unsupported position task (M = 10.0 mn, SD = 6.2 min, p = .01). Electromyographic activity of the tibialis anterior differed between tasks (Session × Time, p = .028). Increasing foot support during a position task decreased muscle fatigability and altered activation of the primary agonist indicating the importance of limb support to minimize fatigue during prolonged activation of the dorsiflexor muscles.
- Muscle fatigue