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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2011 Mar;111(3):539-48. doi: 10.1007/s00421-010-1667-4. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

Effects of plyometric training on both active and passive parts of the plantarflexors series elastic component stiffness of muscle-tendon complex.

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Laboratoire Motricité, Interactions, Performance, Université de Nantes, UFR STAPS, EA 4334, 25 bis Bd Guy Mollet, 44322, Nantes Cedex 3, France.


The aims of this study were to determine the effects of plyometric training on both active and passive parts of the series elastic component (SEC) stiffness, and on geometrical parameters [i.e., muscle architecture, muscle and tendon cross-sectional area (CSA)] of the plantarflexors muscle-tendon complex to assess possible specific adaptations of the elastic properties. Nineteen subjects were randomly divided into a trained group and a control group. Active and passive components of the SEC stiffness were determined using a fast stretch during submaximal voluntary isometric plantarflexor activity. Geometrical parameters of the triceps surae muscles and the Achilles tendon were determined using ultrasonography. A significant increase in the passive component of the SEC stiffness was found (p < 0.05). In contrast, a significant decrease in the active part of the SEC stiffness was observed (p < 0.05). No significant changes in plantarflexor muscles CSA, architecture and Achilles tendon CSA were seen (p > 0.05). Thus, plyometric training led to specific adaptations within each part of the SEC. Theses adaptations could increase both the efficiency of the energy storage-recoil process and muscular tension transmission leading to an increase in jump performances.

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