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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2009 Dec;19(6):811-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2008.00853.x. Epub 2009 Aug 5.

Effects of plyometric training on passive stiffness of gastrocnemii and the musculo-articular complex of the ankle joint.

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1
Laboratoire Motricité, Interactions, Performance- EA 4334, UFR STAPS, Université de Nantes, Nantes Atlantique Universités, Nantes, Cedex, France.

Abstract

This study aimed to determine simultaneously the effects of plyometric training on the passive stiffness of the ankle joint musculo-articular complex, the gastrocnemii muscle-tendon complex (MTC) and the Achilles tendon in order to assess possible local adaptations of elastic properties. Seventeen subjects were divided into a trained (TG) group and a control (CG) group. They were tested before and after 8 weeks of a plyometric training period. The ankle joint range of motion (RoM), the global musculo-articular passive stiffness of the ankle joint, the maximal passive stiffness of gastrocnemii and the stiffness of the Achilles tendon during isometric plantar flexion were determined. A significant increase in the jump performances of TG relative to CG was found (squat jumps: +17.6%, P=0.008; reactive jumps: +19.8%, P=0.001). No significant effect of plyometric training was observed in the ankle joint RoM, musculo-articular passive stiffness of the ankle joint or Achilles tendon stiffness (P>0.05). In contrast, the maximal passive stiffness of gastrocnemii of TG increased after plyometric training relative to CG (+33.3%, P=0.001). Thus, a specific adaptation of the gastrocnemii MTC occurred after plyometric training, without affecting the global passive musculo-articular stiffness of the ankle joint.

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