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Although many athletic activities and plyometric training methods involve both unilateral and bilateral movement, little is known about differences in the leg stiffness (Kleg) experienced during one-legged hopping (OLH) and two-legged hopping (TLH) in place. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of hopping frequencies on differences in Kleg during OLH and TLH. Using a spring-mass model and data collected from 17 participants during OLH and TLH at frequencies of 2.0, 2.5, and 3.0 Hz, Kleg was calculated as the ratio of maximal ground reaction force (Fpeak) to the maximum center of mass displacement (ΔCOM) at the middle of the stance phase measured from vertical ground reaction force. Both Kleg and Fpeak were found to be significantly greater during TLH than OLH at all frequencies, but type of hopping was not found to have a significant effect on ΔCOM. These results suggest that Kleg is different between OLH and TLH at a given hopping frequency and differences in Kleg during OLH and TLH are mainly associated with differences in Fpeak but not ΔCOM.
Hiroaki Hobara (Corresponding Author) is with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan, and with the Department of Rehabilitation for the Movement Functions, Research Institute, National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan. Yoshiyuki Kobayashi is with the Digital Human Research Center, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology, Tokyo, Japan. Emika Kato and Toru Ogata are with the Department of Rehabilitation for the Movement Functions, Research Institute, National Rehabilitation Center for Persons with Disabilities, Tokorozawa, Saitama, Japan.