Can We Modify Maximal Speed Running Posture? Implications for Performance and Hamstring Injury Management

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: Sprint kinematics have been linked to hamstring injury and performance. This study aimed to examine if a specific 6-week multimodal intervention, combining lumbopelvic control and unning technique exercises, induced changes in pelvis and lower-limb kinematics at maximal speed and improved sprint performance. Methods: Healthy amateur athletes were assigned to a control or intervention group (IG). A sprint test with 3-dimensional kinematic measurements was performed before (PRE) and after (POST) 6 weeks of training. The IG program included 3 weekly sessions integrating coaching, strength and conditioning, and physical therapy approaches (eg, manual therapy, mobility, lumbopelvic control, strength and sprint “front-side mechanics”-oriented drills). Results: Analyses of variance showed no between-group differences at PRE. At POST, intragroup analyses showed PRE–POST differences for the pelvic (sagittal and frontal planes) and thigh kinematics and improved sprint performance (split times) for the IG only. Specifically, IG showed (1) a lower anterior pelvic tilt during the late swing phase, (2) greater pelvic obliquity on the free-leg side during the early swing phase, (3) higher vertical position of the front-leg knee, (4) an increase in thigh angular velocity and thigh retraction velocity, (5) lower between-knees distance at initial contact, and (6) a shorter ground contact duration. The intergroup analysis revealed disparate effects (possibly to very likely) in the most relevant variables investigated. Conclusion: The 6-week multimodal training program induced clear pelvic and lower-limb kinematic changes during maximal speed sprinting. These alterations may collectively be associated with reduced risk of muscle strain and were concomitant with significant sprint performance improvement.

Mendiguchia is with the Dept of Physical Therapy, ZENTRUM Rehab and Performance Center, Barañain, Spain. Castaño-Zambudio and Jiménez-Reyes are with the Center for Sport Studies, Rey Juan Carlos University, Madrid, Spain. Morin is with the Sports Medicine Unity, Dept. of Clinical and Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France. Edouard is with the Inter-University Laboratory of Human Movement Biology, Q University of Lyon, University Jean Monnet, Saint Etienne, France; the Dept of Clinical and Exercise Physiology, Sports Medicine Unity, Faculty of Medicine, University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, Saint-Etienne, France; and the Medical Commission, French Athletics Federation, Paris, France. Conceição is with the Center of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Faculty of Sports, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal, and the LABIOMEP—Porto Biomechanics Laboratory, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal. Dodoo is with the High Performance Coaching and Conditioning, Speedworks Training, Loughborough, United Kingdom. Colyer is with the Dept for Health, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom, and the CAMERA—Centre for the Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research and Applications, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom.

Mendiguchia (jurdan24@hotmail.com) is corresponding author.

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