Intermittent Treadmill Running Induces Kinematic Compensations to Maintain Soccer Kick Foot Speed Despite No Change in Knee Extensor Strength

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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Kicking is a fundamental skill and a primary noncontact mechanism of injury in soccer, with injury incidence increasing during the latter stages of match-play. Ten male professional soccer players completed a 90-minute treadmill protocol based on the velocity profile of soccer match-play. Preexercise, and at 15-minute intervals, players completed a maximal velocity kick subjected to kinematic analysis at 200 Hz. Preexercise, and at the end of each half, players also completed isokinetic concentric knee extensor repetitions at 180°·s−1, 300°·s−1, and 60°·s−1. Kicking foot speed was maintained at ∼19 m·s−1, with no main effect for exercise duration. In relation to proximal–distal sequencing during the kicking action, there was a significant increase in the duration (but not magnitude) of thigh rotation, with a compensatory decrease in the duration (but not magnitude) of shank rotation during the latter stages of the exercise protocol. In relation to long-axis rotation, pelvic orientation at ball contact was maintained at ∼6°, representing a total pelvic rotation in the order of ∼15° during the kicking action. Peak knee extensor torque at all speeds was also maintained throughout the protocol, such that kinematic modifications are not attributable to a decline in knee extensor strength.

The author is with Sports Injuries Research Group, Department of Sport & Physical Activity, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, United Kingdom.

Greig (matt.greig@edgehill.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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