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J Sports Sci. 2013;31(14):1559-67. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2013.789919. Epub 2013 May 15.

Mechanical properties of the triceps surae: differences between football and non-football players.

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a University of Beira Interior, Sport Science , Rua Marquês DÁvila e Bolama , Covilhã , 6201-001 , Portugal.


We investigated the mechanical properties of the triceps surae between professional, junior, and non-football players. Fifty-nine men participated in this study. The mechanical properties of the right legs' triceps surae were measured in vivo using a free oscillation technique; no significant differences existed between the groups. The mean results for musculo-articular stiffness, damping coefficient, and damping ratio were as follows: professional football players (21523 N· m⁻¹, 330.8 N · s · m⁻¹, and 0.201); junior football players (21063 N · m⁻¹, 274.4 N · s · m⁻¹, and 0.173); and non-players (19457 N · m⁻¹, 281.5 N · s · m⁻¹, and 0.184). When analysed according to position, the results were as follows: defender (21447 N · m⁻¹, 308.6 N · s · m⁻¹, and 0.189); midfielder (20762 N · m⁻¹, 250.7 N · s · m⁻¹, and 0.157); winger (21322 N · m⁻¹, 335.1 N · s · m⁻¹, and 0.212); forward (22085 N · m⁻¹, 416.2 N · s · m⁻¹, and 0.254); and non-players (19457 N · m⁻¹, 281.5 N · s · m⁻¹, and 0.184). Thus, football training, football games, and the position played had no effect on triceps surae mechanical properties. These results may be attributed to opposing adaptations between different types of training that are usually implemented in football. Alternatively, the minimum strain amplitude and/or frequency threshold of the triceps surae required to trigger adaptations of mechanical properties might not be achieved by football players with football training and matches.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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