Reliability and consistency of plantarflexor stretch-shortening cycle function using an adapted force sledge apparatus
journal contributionposted on 02.06.2017, 08:33 by Laura-Anne Furlong, Andrew J. Harrison
There are various limitations to existing methods of studying plantarflexor stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) function and muscle-tendon unit (MTU) mechanics, predominantly related to measurement validity and reliability. This study utilises an innovative adaptation to a force sledge which isolates the plantarflexors and ankle for analysis. The aim of this study was to determine the sledge loading protocol to be used, most appropriate method of data analysis and measurement reliability in a group of healthy, non-injured subjects. Twenty subjects (11 males, 9 females; age: 23.5 ±2.3 years; height: 1.73 ±0.08 m; mass: 74.2 ±11.3 kg) completed 11 impacts at five different loadings rated on a scale of perceived exertion from 1 to 5, where 5 is a loading that the subject could only complete the 11 impacts using the adapted sledge. Analysis of impacts 4 to 8 or 5 to 7 using loading 2 provided consistent results that were highly reliable (single ICC >0.85, average ICC >0.95) and replicated kinematics found in hopping and running. Results support use of an adapted force sledge apparatus as an ecologically valid, reliable method of investigating plantarflexor SSC function and MTU mechanics in a dynamic controlled environment.
The Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology provided funding to support this work.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences