Document Type

Journal Article


Journal of Sports Science and Medicine

Place of Publication



Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Medical and Health Sciences




Originally published as: Secomb, J. L., Nimphius, S., Farely, O. R. L., Lundgren, L. E., Tran, T. T., & Sheppard, J. M. (2015). Relationships between lower-body muscle structure and, lower-body strength, explosiveness and eccentric leg stiffness in adolescent athletes. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 14(4), 691-697. Original article available from here


The purpose of the present study was to determine whether any relationships were present between lower-body muscle structure and, lower-body strength, variables measured during a counter-movement jump (CMJ) and squat jump (SJ), and eccentric leg stiffness, in adolescent athletes. Thirty junior male (n = 23) and female (n = 7) surfing athletes (14.8 ± 1.7 y; 1.63 ± 0.09 m; 54.8 ± 12.1 kg) undertook lower-body muscle structure assessment with ultrasonography and performed a; CMJ, SJ and an isomet-ric mid-thigh pull (IMTP). In addition, eccentric leg stiffness was calculated from variables of the CMJ and IMTP. Moderate to very large relationships (r = 0.46-0.73) were identified be-tween the thickness of the vastus lateralis (VL) and lateral gas-trocnemius (LG) muscles, and VL pennation angle and; peak force (PF) in the CMJ, SJ and IMTP. Additionally, moderate to large relationships (r = 0.37-0.59) were found between eccentric leg stiffness and; VL and LG thickness, VL pennation angle, and LG fascicle length, with a large relationship (r = 0.59) also present with IMTP PF. These results suggest that greater thick-ness of the VL and LG were related to improved maximal dy-namic and isometric strength, likely due to increased hypertro-phy of the extensor muscles. Furthermore, this increased thickness was related to greater eccentric leg stiffness, as the associated enhanced lower-body strength likely allowed for greater neuromuscular activation, and hence less compliance, during a stretch-shortening cycle.

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