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Leg stiffness adjustment during hopping at different intensities and frequencies

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Understanding leg and joint stiffness adjustment during maximum hopping may provide important information for developing more effective training methods. It has been reported that ankle stiffness has major influence on stable spring-mass dynamics during submaximal hopping, and that knee stiffness is a major determinant for hopping performance during maximal hopping task. Furthermore, there are no reports on how the height of the previous hop could affect overall stiffness modulation of the subsequent maximum one. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether and how the jump height of the previous hop affects leg and joint stiffness for subsequent maximum hop. Ten participants completed trials in which they repeatedly hopped as high as possible (MX task) and trials in which they were instructed to perform several maximum hops with 3 preferred (optimal) height hops between each of them (P3MX task). Both hopping tasks were performed at 2.2 Hz hopping frequency and at the participant's preferred (freely chosen) frequency as well. By comparing results of those hopping tasks, we found that ankle stiffness at 2.2 Hz (p=0.041) and knee stiffness at preferred frequency (p=0.045) was significantly greater for MX versus P3MX tasks. Leg stiffness for 2.2 Hz hopping is greater than for the preferred frequency. Ankle stiffness is greater for 2.2 Hz than for preferred frequencies; opposite stands for knee stiffness. The results of this study suggest that preparatory hop height can be considered as an important factor for modulation of maximum hop.
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Bibliogr. 30 poz., rys., tab., wykr.
  • Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Belgrade
  • Bioengineering Research and Development Center
  • Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Belgrade
  • Faculty of Sport and Physical Education, University of Belgrade
  • University of Kragujevac, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
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