The Interday Reliability of Ankle, Knee, Leg, and Vertical Musculoskeletal Stiffness During Hopping and Overground Running

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Corey W. Joseph Australian Catholic University

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Elizabeth J. Bradshaw Australian Catholic University

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Justin Kemp Australian Catholic University

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Ross A. Clark Australian Catholic University

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A number of methods are used to measure lower extremity musculoskeletal stiffness, but there is a paucity of research examining the reliability of these techniques. Therefore, we investigated the reliability of vertical, leg, knee, and ankle stiffness during overground running and hopping in 20 active men. Participants were required to run on a 10 m overground runway at 3.83 m/s (actual; 3.35 ± 0.12 m/s) and to hop in place at 2.2 Hz (actual; 2.37 ± 0.03 Hz), and at a self-selected frequency (actual; 2.05 ± 0.12 Hz) and at 2.2 Hz (actual; 2.39 ± 0.04 Hz). Reliability was determined using the intraclass correlation coefficient, coefficient of variation, mean differences, and Cohen’s effect sizes. There was good reliability for vertical stiffness, moderate reliability for leg stiffness, and poor reliability for knee and ankle stiffness during the running task. Similar results were observed during the 2.2 Hz hopping tasks, with good reliability displayed for vertical stiffness and poor reliability for ankle and knee stiffness. In conclusion, our results suggest that vertical stiffness is a reliable measure when running at 3.83 m/s and hopping at 2.2 Hz.

Corey W. Joseph (Corresponding Author), Elizabeth J. Bradshaw, Justin Kemp and Ross A. Clark are with the Centre for Physical Activity Across the Lifespan, School of Exercise Science, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

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