A comparative study: tongue muscle performance in weightlifters and runners

Heidi A. VanRavenhorst-Bell, Kathy L. Coufal, Jeremy A. Patterson, Antje S. Mefferd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Exercise mode (i.e., resistance training, endurance training) is known to yield mode-specific effects on strength and endurance of muscles that are directly targeted during the exercise. Such mode-specific effects can also be observed in indirectly involved (i.e., nontargeted) muscles. Mode-specific muscle performance changes of nontargeted muscles, however, have only been investigated within the skeletal system. Therefore, as a first step, this study aimed to determine if bulbar muscle performance (tongue strength [TS], tongue endurance [TE]) differs between weightlifters and runners and if group differences are tongue region-specific. The Iowa Oral Performance Instrument (IOPI) was used to measure TS and TE of the anterior and posterior tongue regions in 21 weightlifters and 23 runners. In weightlifters anterior TS was significantly greater than posterior TS (P = 0.008), whereas in runners anterior and posterior TS were comparable. Furthermore, weightlifters produced significantly greater anterior TS than runners (P = 0.001). Finally, TE was overall significantly greater in runners than in weightlifters (P = 0.001). Findings suggest that exercise mode may differentially impact performance patterns of nontargeted bulbar muscles. More research is warranted to better understand the mechanisms underlying tongue muscle performance differences between weightlifters and runners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13923
JournalPhysiological Reports
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Exercise mode
  • tongue endurance
  • tongue strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparative study: tongue muscle performance in weightlifters and runners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this