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Effect of a prehop on the muscle-tendon interaction during vertical jumps

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Many movements use stretch-shortening cycles of a muscle-tendon unit (MTU) for storing and releasing elastic energy. The required stretching of medial gastrocnemius (MG) tendinous tissue during jumps, however, requires large length changes of the muscle fascicles because of the lack of MTU length changes. This has a negative impact on the force-generating capacity of the muscle fascicles. The purpose of this study was to induce a MG MTU stretch before shortening by adding a prehop to the squat jump. Eleven well-trained athletes specialized in jumping performed a prehop squat jump (PHSJ) and a standard squat jump (SSJ). Kinematic data were collected using a 3D motion capture system and were used in a musculoskeletal model to calculate MTU lengths. B-mode ultrasonography of the MG was used to measure fascicle length and pennation angle during the jumps. By combining the muscle-tendon unit lengths, fascicle lengths, and pennation angles, the stretch and recoil of the series elastic element of MG were calculated using a simple geometric muscle-tendon model. Our results show less length changes of the muscle fascicles during the upward motion and lower maximal shortening velocities, increasing the moment-generating capacity of the plantar flexors, reflected in the higher ankle joint moment in the PHSJ compared with the SSJ. Although muscle-tendon interaction during the PHSJ was more optimal, athletes were not able to increase their jump height compared with the SSJ. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This is the first study that aimed to improve the muscle-tendon interaction in squat jumping. We effectively introduced a stretch to the medial gastrocnemius muscle-tendon unit resulting in lower maximal shortening velocities and thus an increase in the plantar flexor force-generating capacity, reflected in the higher ankle joint moment in the prehop squat jump compared with the standard squat jump. Here, we demonstrate an effective method for mechanical optimization of the muscle-tendon interaction in the medial gastrocnemius during squat jumping.
Tijdschrift: Journal of Applied Physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)
ISSN: 8750-7587
Issue: 5
Volume: 124
Pagina's: 1203 - 1211
Aantal pagina's: 9
Jaar van publicatie:2018