Neuromuscular motor tasks between skill and endurance trained athletes

INTRODUCTION: It is well known that different types of physical exercise produce experiencespecific alterations in the corticomotorneuronal system (Adkins et al. 2006). Furthermore, previous study by Kumpulainen et al. 2014 showed that skill trained athletes have higher plasticity on the leg area of motor cortex compared to endurance trained athletes. Thus, it was hypothesized that skill and endurance trained athletes would perform differently in certain neuromuscular motor tasks. The purpose of this study was to compare 15 skill and 14 endurance trained athletes in 3 different motor tasks performed with plantar-flexors, which are training-relevant muscles for both groups. The tasks assessed rate of force development (RFD), reaction time, accuracy of force control and learning during the accuracy task. METHODS: Subjects sat on an ankle dynamometer with their right foot resting on a pedal. First, subjects performed 3 isometric maximal plantarfexions with maximal speed to quantify maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and RFD. Go signal for reaction task was a pedal perturbation. Subjects reacted as rapidly as possible to the go signal with isometric plantar flexion contraction. In 20 s. force control task, subjects followed the target trace as accurately as possible with isometricly contracting their plantar flexors. Tracing error was calculated in 5 second intervals as difference between the target trace and the subject's response trace and it was normalized to MVC. RESULTS: There were no differences (P > 0.05) between the groups in MVC (skill, 1250 ± 430 N; endurance, 1180 ± 270 N), RFD (skill, 6000 ± 2260 N/s; endurance, 5300 ± 2280 N/s), or reaction time (skill, 137 ± 22 ms; endurance, 141 ± 28 ms). But there was a significant difference (P < 0.05) in the 20 s tracing error at the force control task (skill, 6.2 ± 1.6 %; endurance, 7.7 ± 2.1 %). There was no difference between the groups in the tracing error during the first 5 seconds (skill group 13 % superior) but there was significant difference during the last 5 seconds (skill group 27 % superior). DISCUSSION: Skill group was better in the accuracy of the force control. In addition, there was no difference between the groups in the beginning but at the end of the force control task suggesting better learning. Possible reason for this could be the aforementioned different training induced adaptations in the motor cortex because increased plasticity is known to enhance motor learning. The findings of the current study suggest that skill training augments motor learning. --- The hosting University of Jyväskylä is planning to publish conference proceedings "Science and Nordic Skiing III". In case you are interested in this publication please contact the editors (Anni Hakkarainen to become registered for the book.
© Copyright 2015 3rd International Congress on Science and Nordic Skiing - ICSNS 2015. 5-8 June 2015, Vuokatti, Finland. Published by University of Jyväskylä; University of Salzburg. All rights reserved.

Subjects: motor learning motor adaptation and transfer ability endurance endurance events training adaptation neurophysiology brain coordinative ability movement movement co-ordination movement precision reaction control
Notations: biological and medical sciences endurance sports training science
Published in: 3rd International Congress on Science and Nordic Skiing - ICSNS 2015. 5-8 June 2015, Vuokatti, Finland
Editors: A. Hakkarainen, V. Linnamo, S. Lindinger
Published: Jyväskylä; Salzburg University of Jyväskylä; University of Salzburg 2015
Pages: 78
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced