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Simon Avrillon, Boris Jidovtseff, François Hug and Gaël Guilhem


Muscle strengthening is commonly based on the use of isoinertial loading, whereas variable resistances such as pneumatic loading may be implemented to optimize training stimulus. The purpose of the current study was to determine the effect of the ratio between pneumatic and isoinertial resistance on the force–velocity relationship during ballistic movements.


A total of 15 participants performed 2 concentric repetitions of ballistic bench-press movements with intention to throw the bar at 30%, 45%, 60%, 75%, and 90% of the maximal concentric repetition with 5 resistance ratios including 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, or 0% of pneumatic resistance, the additional load being isoinertial. Force-, velocity-, and power-time patterns were assessed and averaged over the concentric phase to determine the force–velocity and power–velocity relationships for each resistance ratio.


Each 25% increase in the pneumatic part in the resistance ratio elicited higher movement velocity (+0.11 ± 0.03 m/s from 0% to 80% of the concentric phase) associated with lower force levels (–43.6 ± 15.2 N). Increased isoinertial part in the resistance ratio resulted in higher velocity toward the end of the movement (+0.23 ± 0.01 m/s from 90% to 100%).


The findings show that the resistance ratio could be modulated to develop the acceleration phase and force toward the end of the concentric phase (pneumatic-oriented resistance). Inversely, isoinertial-oriented resistance should be used to develop maximal force and maximal power. Resistance modality could, therefore, be considered an innovative variable to modulate the training stimulus according to athletic purposes.

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Mathieu Lacome, Simon Avrillon, Yannick Cholley, Ben M. Simpson, Gael Guilhem and Martin Buchheit

Aim: To compare the effect of low versus high volume of eccentric-biased hamstring training programs on knee-flexor strength and fascicle length changes in elite soccer players. Methods: A total of 19 elite youth soccer players took part in this study and were randomly assigned into 2 subgroups. For 6 weeks in-season, the groups performed either a low-volume (1 set per exercise; 10 repetitions in total) or a high-volume (4 sets; 40 repetitions) eccentric training of their knee flexors. After 6-weeks midtraining (MID), players performed the alternate training regimen. Each training set consisted of 4 repetitions of the Nordic hamstring exercise and 6 repetitions of the bilateral stiff-leg deadlift. Eccentric knee-flexor strength (NordBord) as well as biceps femoris long head and semimembranosus fascicle length (scanned with ultrasound scanner) were assessed during pretraining (PRE), MID, and posttraining (POST) tests. Results: Knee-flexor eccentric strength very likely increased from PRE to MID (low volume: +11.3% [7.8%] and high volume: 11.4% [5.3%]), with a possibly-to-likely increase in biceps femoris long head (+4.5% [5.0%] and 4.8% [2.5%]) and semimembranosus (+4.3% [4.7%] and 6.3% [6.3%]) fascicle length in both groups. There was no substantial changes between MID and POST. Overall, there was no clear between-group difference in the changes from PRE to MID and MID to POST for neither knee-flexor eccentric strength, biceps femoris long head, nor semimembranosus fascicle length. Conclusions: Low-volume knee-flexor eccentric training is as effective as a greater training dose to substantially improve knee-flexor strength and fascicle length in-season in young elite soccer players. Low volume is, however, likely more appropriate to be used in an elite team facing congested schedules.