Relationship Between Gastrocnemius Muscle Length and Overhead Squat Movement Compensations Among Active-Duty Firefighters

in International Journal of Athletic Therapy and Training

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Thomas J. SherriffUniversity of Massachusetts Lowell

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Kyle T. EbersoleUniversity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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David J. CornellUniversity of Massachusetts Lowell

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Restricted gastrocnemius length may impair movement efficiency during functional movements. However, this is yet to be examined among tactical athletes. This study examined the relationship between gastrocnemius muscle length and movement compensations during a two-leg overhead squat among career firefighters. Bilateral ankle dorsiflexion passive range of motion data were collected from 50 firefighters, and movement compensations observed during a two-leg overhead squat were recorded. Firefighters with reduced average ankle dorsiflexion passive range of motion were more likely to demonstrate movement compensations during the overhead squat. Clinicians should utilize interventions that lengthen gastrocnemius musculature to improve the squat movement efficiency of firefighters.

Sherriff and Cornell are with the Health Assessment Laboratory, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA, USA. Sherriff is also with the Department of Physical Therapy & Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA, USA. Ebersole is with the Human Performance & Sport Physiology Laboratory, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA; and the Department of Occupational Sciences and Technology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI, USA. Cornell is also with the Department of Physical Therapy & Kinesiology, Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA, USA; and UMass Movement Research Center, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA, USA.

Cornell (david_cornell@uml.edu) is corresponding author.
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