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Lower Extremity Stiffness Lecture


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A brief lecture on Lower Extremity Stiffness delivered as part of Advanced Strength and Conditioning at Salford University.

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Lower Extremity Stiffness Lecture

  1. 1. Lower Extremity StiffnessAdvanced Strength & Conditioning John McMahon BSc (Hons), ASCC, CSCS
  2. 2. Lecture Aims• To introduce the mechanical concept of lower extremity stiffness and methods of calculation• To examine how lower extremity stiffness is regulated during dynamic movements• To discuss the influence of lower extremity stiffness on functional performance• To explain the affect of static stretching, training and coaching cues on lower extremity stiffness
  3. 3. What is Stiffness?• Stiffness describes the relationship between a given force and the deformation of an object or body (Butler et al., 2003; Brughelli and Cronin, 2008a)• Hooke’s Law: F = kx rearranged to k = ∆F ∆x• The spring constant (k) describes the stiffness of an ideal spring-mass-system
  4. 4. Compartments of Stiffness• Lower extremity stiffness can be determined at various levels within the leg:• Tendon• Muscle Fibre• Muscle• Muscle-tendon-unit (MTU)• Joint• Leg
  5. 5. Methods of Calculating LowerExtremity Stiffness during Dynamic Movements
  6. 6. Spring-Mass-Model (Kvert)
  7. 7. Spring-Mass-Model (Kleg)
  8. 8. Kleg during Running
  9. 9. Torsional-Spring-Model (Kjoint)
  10. 10. Kknee during Running
  11. 11. Example MTU & Hill’s Muscle Model Vastus Lateralis Gastrocnemius Hill’s Muscle Model
  12. 12. Tendon Stiffness (Kten) (Hopping)Tendon stiffness (N·mm-1) isdetermined from the slopeof the elongation – forcerelationship The same method is used to calculate muscle fibre, muscle and MTU stiffness
  13. 13. MTU Behavior (Hopping)Separation of muscle and tendon components from the whole MTU during hopping Solid line = MTU length, dotted line = tendon length, broken line = muscle length 57
  14. 14. Lower Extremity Stiffness Regulation during Dynamic Movements
  15. 15. Joint StiffnessKankle: main determinant during high frequencymovements with short contact times (fasthopping/jumping; maximal velocity sprinting) (Farley et al., 1998; Farley and Morgenroth, 1999; Hobara et al., 2010; Hobara et al., 2011)Kknee: main determinant during longer contacttime movements (slow hopping; maximal heightjumping; jogging; acceleration phase of sprinting)(Arampatzis et al., 1999; Kuitunen et al., 2002; Hobara et al., 2009; Hobara et al., 2011)
  16. 16. Touchdown Joint AnglesGreater joint flexion↑ the moment armof the vertical GRFand thus ↓ Kleg(Greene and McMahon, 1979;McMahon et al., 1987; Farley et al.,1998; Hortobagyi and DeVita, 1999;Moritz and Farley, 2004; Hobara et al.,2010)
  17. 17. Muscle RecruitmentMagnitude of pre-/post-landing agonist muscle activationand co-activation of antagonists:• Co-activation during stair descent (elderly population only)• For males: GM, GL & VL during DJ (20cm); VL & BF only during DJ (40/60cm); GM, SOL (but not TA) during hopping• For females: same as males during DJ (20cm), but GM and VL only (not BF) during DJ 40cm (quad dominant strategy)(Farley et al., 1998; Hortobagyi and DeVita, 2000; Arampatzis et al., 2001a; Arampatzis et al., 2001b; Hobara et al., 2007; Hsu et al., 2007; Hobara et al., 2010)
  18. 18. Muscle StrengthIsometric strength:Knee flexor: Khip in females (Schmitz and Shultz, 2010)Plantar flexor: Kten (AT) in males & females (Muraoka etal., 2005)Knee extensor and plantar flexor: Kten (AT & PT) inmales (Karamanidis et al., 2008)Eccentric strength:Knee flexors & extensors: Kleg & Kknee (DL only)during high intensity forward hopping (McMahon andGraham-Smith, 2010)
  19. 19. Influence of Lower ExtremityStiffness on Functional Performance
  20. 20. Kleg and Performance• ↓ ground contact times (Farley et al., 1991; Arampatzis et al., 2001)• ↑ hopping frequency (Farley et al.,1991; Granata et al.,2001)• ↑ stride frequency (McMahon et al., 1987; Farley and Gonzalez, 1996)• ↓ stride length (McMahon and Cheng, 1990; Derrick et al., 2000; Kerdock et al., 2002)
  21. 21. Kleg and Performance (Cont’d)• ↑ maximal velocity running (Farley and Gonzalez, 1996; Stefanyshyn and Nigg, 1998; Arampatzis et al., 1999; Seyfarth et al., 2002)• ↑ running economy (McMahon and Cheng, 1990; Heise and Martin, 1998; Dutto and Smith, 2002; Kerdock et al., 2002)• ↑ vertical jump height (from low drop heights) (Arampatzis et al., 2001)• ↑ horizontal hop distance (McMahon and Graham-Smith, 2010)
  22. 22. Too Much Kleg…↓ vertical jump height (Walshe and Wilson,1997; Arampatzis et al., 2001; Laffaye et al., 2005)↓ horizontal jump distances (Seyfarth et al.,1999; 2000)↑ bonyinjury risk(Hewett et al.,1996; Butler et The magnitudeal., 2003) of Kleg requirements depends upon the task type
  23. 23. Kten and Performance• ↑ RFD• ↑ SJ height• ↓ Tendon strain (injuries)(Kubo et al., 2001d; Butler et al., 2003; Burgess et al., 2007; Kubo et al., 2007)However, too much Kten:• ↓ Elastic energy storage (Butler et al., 2003; Turner and Jeffreys, 2011)
  24. 24. Affect of Static Stretching, Training and Coaching Cues on Lower Extremity Stiffness
  25. 25. Static StretchingAcute:• 10 min calf stretch - ↓ Kten & Hysteresis (Kubo et al., 2001a)• 5 min calf stretch - ↓ Kten & Young’s Modulus (Burgess et al., 2009) - greater decreases in female subjects• 5 min calf stretch - ↓ Kten & Hysteresis (Kubo et al., 2002b) Changes above due to ↓ Viscosity & ↑ Elasticity• 3 min calf stretch - ↔ Kleg (hopping @ 2.2Hz) (Hobara et al., 2011)Chronic:• 5 x 45s (15s rest) calf stretch 2 x day for 3 weeks: ↔ Kten & ↓ Hysteresis (Kubo et al., 2002a)
  26. 26. Isotonic Resistance Training 6 weeks of:• ‘Eccentric’ heel drops (BW): ↔ Kten (Mahieu et al., 2008) 8 weeks of:• Calf raises (70% 1RM):↑ Kten & ↔ Hysteresis (Kubo et al., 2002c) 12 weeks of:• Leg extension (70% 1RM): ↑ Kten (Kongsgaard et al., 2007) 14 weeks of:• Leg extension/leg press (80% 1RM): ↑ Kten (Reeves et al., 2003a,b) 6 months of:• BW squat: ↔ Kten (Kubo et al., 2003)
  27. 27. Isometric Resistance Training 12 weeks of isometric knee extension performed at 70% MVC for 15-20s:• ↑ Kten (Kubo et al., 2001c,d; 2006; 2009)• ↑ muscle size and RFD (Kubo et al., 2001d) ↔ Kten during above exercise when:- Performed for short duration (1s)- Performed at short muscle length (50 deg)- Performed for < 8 weeks
  28. 28. Isometric Resistance Training14 weeks of isometric plantar flexion performed at 90% MVC for 3s:• ↑ Kten (Arampatzis et al., 2007; 2010)Authors concluded that the strain magnitudeduring isometric training should exceed thevalue experienced during habitual loading formechanical adaptations in tendon to occur.
  29. 29. Plyometric Training 14 weeks of plyometric training (SJ, CMJ, DJ(35/40+50/60+65/80cm), hop over 40cm barrier):• ↑ Kten (Fouré et al., 2010a,b)Trained with high volume: 36 sessions in totalconsisting of 200-600 jumps per session
  30. 30. Comparing Training Methods6 weeks of Plyometric (DJ) vs Isometric (Plantar):• Plyo: ↑ Kten (29%), ↑ RFD (19%) & ↑ SJ height (59%)• Iso: ↑ Kten (62%), ↑ RFD (17%) & ↑ SJ height (64%) (Burgess et al., 2007)12 weeks of Isotonic (80% 1RM calf raise) vs Plyo (sledgehopping & DJ 20 cm):• Isotonic: ↑ Kten, ↔ Kankle,↑ SJ height• Plyo: ↔ Kten, ↑ Kankle, ↑ SJ, CMJ & DJ height (Kubo et al., 2007)
  31. 31. Comparing Training Methods6 weeks of isotonic (70% 1RM leg press) vs isotonic +Plyo (Barrier hops):• Isotonic: ↔ Kleg during CMJ• Isotonic + Plyo: ↑ Kleg (Toumi et al., 2004)10 weeks of Isotonic (75-90% 1RM back squats) vsPower (0-30% 1RM Jump Squats):• Isotonic: ↑ Kleg• Power: ↑ Kleg during 0% 1RM jump squat (Cormie et al., 2010)
  32. 32. Comparing Training MethodsSprint versus endurance training:• Sprinters had ↑ Kleg (hopping @ 1.5/3.0 Hz & DJ 30cm)• Sprinters had ↑ Kknee (hopping @ 1.5 Hz)• Sprinters had ↑ Kankle (hopping @ 3.0 Hz)• Sprinters had ↓ contact time & ↑ flight time• Sprinters had ↑ Kten (AT) & Plantar flexor Moments (Harrision et al., 2004; Arampatzis et al., 2007; Hobara et al., 2008)
  33. 33. Combination Training10 weeks of isotonic (90-100% RPE backsquats/deadlifts) plus Plyometrics (CMJ/DJ):• During CMJ: ↑ Kleg• During DJ 30, 60, 90cm: ↓ Kleg (Hunter and Marshall, 2002)
  34. 34. Endurance Training• No effect of endurance training on mechanical properties (i.e. Kten/Young’s Modulus) of the PT or AT(Rosager et al., 2002; Hansen et al., 2003; Karamanidis and Arampatzis, 2006; Arampatzis et al., 2007)• Endurance runners had ↑ Kleg (hopping @ 2.2 Hz) than untrained subjects (Hobara et al., 2008b)
  35. 35. Coaching CuesKleg can be manipulated by asking athletes to:• “Reduce ground contact time”• “Minimise knee flexion”• “Jump as high as you can”• “Jump high a little faster than your previous jump” (Arampatzis et al., 2001b)
  36. 36. Tendon Training SummaryFor increases in tendon stiffness to occur, trainingshould:• Include high loads (>70% 1RM)• Involve high tendon strains (↑ drop heights)• If isometric, be performed at long muscle lengths• If isometric, be performed for at least 3s/rep• Be performed consistently for at least 6-8 weeks
  37. 37. Kleg & Kjoint Training SummaryFor increases in Kleg & Kjoint to occur, training should:• Include high loads (>75% 1RM)• Involve large muscle mass (Squats/Deadlifts)• Include both strength and power exercises• Be task specific• Be performed when technically competent• Be monitored to avoid excessive recruitment
  38. 38. Training Proposal• Strength training and low-intensity plyometrics (coached correctly) should proceed high-intensity plyometric performance (for at least 6-8 weeks) in order develop necessary Kten to help avoid excessive tendon strains that may lead to injury.• Plyometric training drills should be specific to the lower extremity stiffness characteristics of each athletes’ sport in order to enhance their transferability to performance.
  39. 39. Any Questions?