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Loss of Coordination with Fatigue

Why do you become uncoordinated when you are tired?

Fatigue reduces both strength and accuracy. There's a physiological reason why tiredness weakens muscles. Muscles are made up of thousands of fibers. Each fiber stores sugar. and when it runs out of its stored sugar, it cannot contract effectively. As you tire, your muscles have fewer fibers to contract and you become weaker and less coordinated. This means that a pitcher who is warmed up and fresh will have more active fibers in his muscles and be able to throw more accurately and faster than when he is tired. A fresh football player can kick further and more accurately than when he is tired.

That's why professional and college sports teams have large rosters, so they always have plenty of fresh players. The same principle applies to boxers, wrestlers, tennis players and so forth, but they do not have the luxury of calling in a substitute. If you compete in an individual sport that requires both endurance and coordination, try to pace yourself, take it easy early in your competition and save something for the end.

Checked 4/9/18

May 10th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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