Walking kinematics and kinetics following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage
The goal of this investigation was to investigate how walking patterns are affected following muscle-damaging exercise by quantifying both lower limb kinematics and kinetics. Fifteen young women conducted a maximal isokinetic eccentric exercise (EE) muscle damage protocol (5 x 15) of the knee extensors and flexors of both legs at 60 degrees/s. Three-dimensional motion data and ground reaction forces (GRFs) were collected 24 h pre-EE while the participants walked at their preferred self-selected walking speed (SWS). Participants were asked to perform two gait conditions 48 h post-EE. The first condition (COND1) was to walk at their own speed and the second condition (COND2) to maintain the SWS (+/- 5%) they had 24 h pre-EE. Walking speed during COND1 was significantly lower compared to pre-exercise values. When walking speed was controlled during COND2, significant effects of muscle damage were noticed, among other variables, for stride frequency, loading rate, lateral and vertical GRFs, as well as for specific knee kinematics and kinetics. These findings provide new insights into how walking patterns are adapted to compensate for the impaired function of the knee musculature following muscle damage. The importance to distinguish the findings caused by muscle damage from those exhibited in response to changes in stride frequency is highlighted. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.