OBJECTIVES: To assess the impact of acute physical fatigue on traditional and neurocognitive functional performance tests in recreational athletes.
DESIGN: randomized counterbalanced cross-over study, pre-post design SETTING: laboratory PARTICIPANTS: Twenty recreational athletes (age = 24 ± 3 years) MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: We evaluated fatigue impairments following a 30 s all-out effort in three traditional and one neurocognitive functional performance test. The traditional functional performance tests encompassed the single leg hop for distance (SLH), countermovement jump (CMJ) and Y-balance test (YBT). The neurocognitive functional performance test encompassed the reactive balance test (RBT). A 30 s modified Wingate was used to induce acute physical fatigue.
RESULTS: Acute physical fatigue was successfully induced as indicated by a significant increase in heart rate, systolic blood pressure, blood lactate levels and rating of perceived exertion (p < 0.001). Acute physical fatigue induced significant decreases in RBT accuracy (p = 0.004) and SLH performance (p < 0.001). YBT, CMJ and RBT visuomotor reaction time remained unaffected by acute physical fatigue.
CONCLUSIONS: Acute physical fatigue impairs SLH performance and decreases accuracy in the RBT. YBT and CMJ performance remained unaffected by acute physical fatigue. Clinicians should be aware of this divergent neurocognitive functional impairments caused by one all-out effort to allow well-informed selection of functional performance tests.