Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Place of Publication
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Medical and Health Sciences
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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