The purpose was to examine the effects of localized muscle and whole-body fatigue on indices of single-leg balance between healthy young men (n = 10) and women (n = 10). Subjects performed 10, 10-s single-leg balance trials on a force platform prior to performing each of three conditions (local, whole-body, and control), in a randomized order, on separate days. Localized muscle and whole-body fatigue consisted of single-leg, weight-bearing heel raises on an inclined platform, and exercise on a rowing ergometer, respectively, to the point of volitional failure. During the control condition, subjects remained in a seated position for 5 min. Immediately following each condition, five, 10-s, single-leg balance trials were performed. The localized muscle and whole-body fatigue protocols produced significant (p < 0.05) increases in medial/lateral (M/L) and total sway (TS). Men experienced a greater (p < 0.05) increase in anterior/posterior (A/P) sway following the localized muscle, than whole-body, fatigue protocol, whereas A/P sway increased more following the whole-body, than localized muscle, fatigue protocol for the women. Total sway variability increased significantly (p < 0.05) more following the localized muscle fatigue protocol than the whole-body fatigue protocol for both men and women. The major findings of the present investigation demonstrated that measures of postural control, namely M/L, A/P sway and total sway, were adversely affected following fatiguing exercise, with differential effects between men and women. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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