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  • Author: Massimiliano Ditroilo x
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Brian J. McMorrow, Massimiliano Ditroilo and Brendan Egan

Purpose: Resisted sled sprinting (RSS) is an effective tool for improving sprint performance over short distances, but the effect on change-of-direction (COD) performance is largely unknown. The present study investigated the effect of heavy RSS training during the competitive season on sprint and COD performance in professional soccer players. Methods: Over 6 wk in-season, an RSS training group (n = 6) performed RSS at a sled load of 30% body mass for a total program running distance of 800 m, whereas an unresisted sprint (URS) training group (n = 7) performed the same distance of unresisted sprinting. A 20-m maximal sprint with split times measured at 5, 10, and 20 m and the sprint 9-3-6-3-9 m with 180° turns COD test were performed before and after the intervention. Results: Sprint performance (mean, 95% confidence limits, qualitative inference) was improved in both groups over 5 m (URS, 5.1%, −2.4 to 12.7, likely moderate; RSS, 5.4%, 0.5–10.4, likely moderate), 10 m (URS, 3.9%, −0.3 to 8.1, very likely moderate; RSS, 5.0%, 1.8–8.0, very likely large), and 20 m (URS, 2.0%, −0.6 to 4.5, likely moderate; RSS, 3.0%, 1.7–4.4, very likely moderate). COD was improved in both groups (URS, 3.7%, 2.2–5.2, most likely large; RSS, 3.3%, 1.6–5.0, most likely moderate). Between-groups differences were unclear. Conclusion: Heavy RSS and URS training matched for running distance were similarly effective at improving sprint and COD performance in professional soccer players when performed in the competitive phase of the season.

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Lewis J. Macgregor, Massimiliano Ditroilo, Iain J. Smith, Malcolm M. Fairweather and Angus M. Hunter

Context:

Assessments of skeletal-muscle functional capacity often necessitate maximal contractile effort, which exacerbates muscle fatigue or injury. Tensiomyography (TMG) has been investigated as a means to assess muscle contractile function after fatigue; however, observations have not been contextualized by concurrent physiological measures.

Objective:

To measure peripheral-fatigue-induced alterations in mechanical and contractile properties of the plantar-flexor muscles through noninvasive TMG concurrently with maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and passive muscle tension (PMT) to validate TMG as a gauge of peripheral fatigue.

Design:

Pre- and posttest intervention with control.

Setting:

University laboratory.

Participants:

21 healthy male volunteers.

Interventions:

Subjects’ plantar flexors were tested for TMG parameters, along with MVC and PMT, before and after either a 5-min rest period (control) or a 5-min electrical-stimulation intervention (fatigue).

Main Outcome Measures:

Temporal (contraction velocity) and spatial (radial displacement) contractile parameters of the gastrocnemius medialis were recorded through TMG. MVC was measured as an indicator of muscle fatigue, and PMT was measured to assess muscle stiffness.

Results:

Radial displacement demonstrated a fatigue-associated reduction (3.3 ± 1.2 vs 4.0 ± 1.4 mm, P = .031), while contraction velocity remained unaltered. In addition, MVC significantly declined by 122.6 ± 104 N (P < .001) after stimulation (fatigue). PMT was significantly increased after fatigue (139.8 ± 54.3 vs 111.3 ± 44.6 N, P = .007).

Conclusions:

TMG successfully detected fatigue, evident from reduced MVC, by displaying impaired muscle displacement accompanied by elevated PMT. TMG could be useful in establishing skeletalmuscle fatigue status without exacerbating the functional decrement of the muscle.