The length of a muscle’s moment arm can be estimated noninvasively using ultrasound and the tendon excursion method. The main assumption with the tendon excursion method is that the force acting on the tendon during passive rotation is constant. However, passive force changes through the range of motion, and thus moment arm is underestimated. The authors attempted to account for passive force on the measurement of Achilles tendon moment arm using the tendon excursion method in 8 male and female runners. Tendon excursion was measured using ultrasound while the ankle was passively rotated at 0.17 rad·s−1. Moment arm was calculated at 5° intervals as the ratio of tendon displacement to joint rotation from 70° to 115°. Passive moment (M P) was measured using a dynamometer. The displacement attributable to M P was calculated by monitoring tendon displacement during a ramp isometric maximum contraction. M P was 5.7 (2.1) N·m at 70° and decreased exponentially from 70° to 90°. This resulted in M P-corrected moment arms that were significantly larger than uncorrected moment arms at joint angles where M P was present. Furthermore, M P-corrected moment arms did not change with ankle angle, which was not the case for uncorrected moment arms.
Jared R. Fletcher and Brian R. MacIntosh
Ian C. Smith and Brian R. MacIntosh
Haiko B. Zimmermann, Débora Knihs, Fernando Diefenthaeler, Brian MacIntosh, and Juliano Dal Pupo
Purpose: The objective of this study was to analyze the effects of a conditioning activity (CA) composed of continuous countermovement jumps on twitch torque production and 30-m sprint times. Methods: A total of 12 sprint athletes, 10 men (23.5 [7.7] y) and 2 women (23.0 [2.8] y), volunteered to participate in this study. The participants were evaluated in 2 sessions as follows: (1) to determine the effects of the CA (3 sets of 5 continuous vertical jumps with a 1-min interval between sets) on 30-m sprint performance over time (2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 min) and (2) to evaluate twitch peak torque to determine the magnitude and time course of the induced postactivation potentiation at the same recovery intervals. Results: Mixed-model analysis of variance with Bonferroni post hoc verified that there was a decrease on the 30-m sprint time at 2 minutes (P = .01; Δ = 2.78%; effect size [ES] = 0.43) and 4 minutes (P = .02; Δ = 2%, ES = 0.30) compared with pre when the CA preceded the sprints. The peak torque of quadriceps also showed significant increase from pretest to 2 minutes (P < .01; Δ = 17.0% [12.2%]; ES = 0.45) and 4 minutes (P = .02; Δ = 7.2% [8.8%]; ES = 0.20). Conclusion: The inclusion of CA composed of continuous countermovement jumps in the warm-up routine improved 30-m sprint performance at 2- and 4-minute time intervals after the CA (postactivation performance enhancement). Since postactivation potentiation was confirmed with electrical stimulation at the time when sprint performance increased, it was concluded that postactivation potentiation may have contributed to the observed performance increases.
Inge K. Stoter, Brian R. MacIntosh, Jared R. Fletcher, Spencer Pootz, Inge Zijdewind, and Florentina J. Hettinga
To evaluate pacing behavior and peripheral and central contributions to muscle fatigue in 1500-m speed-skating and cycling time trials when a faster or slower start is instructed.
Nine speed skaters and 9 cyclists, all competing at regional or national level, performed two 1500-m time trials in their sport. Athletes were instructed to start faster than usual in 1 trial and slower in the other. Mean velocity was measured per 100 m. Blood lactate concentrations were measured. Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), voluntary activation (VA), and potentiated twitch (PT) of the quadriceps muscles were measured to estimate central and peripheral contributions to muscle fatigue. In speed skating, knee, hip, and trunk angles were measured to evaluate technique.
Cyclists showed a more explosive start than speed skaters in the fast-start time trial (cyclists performed first 300 m in 24.70 ± 1.73 s, speed skaters in 26.18 ± 0.79 s). Both trials resulted in reduced MVC (12.0% ± 14.5%), VA (2.4% ± 5.0%), and PT (25.4% ± 15.2%). Blood lactate concentrations after the time trial and the decrease in PT were greater in the fast-start than in the slow-start trial. Speed skaters showed higher trunk angles in the fast-start than in the slow-start trial, while knee angles remained similar.
Despite similar instructions, behavioral adaptations in pacing differed between the 2 sports, resulting in equal central and peripheral contributions to muscle fatigue in both sports. This provides evidence for the importance of neurophysiological aspects in the regulation of pacing. It also stresses the notion that optimal pacing needs to be studied sport specifically, and coaches should be aware of this.