Ankle muscle function during preferred and non-Preferred 45° directional cutting in semi-professional basketball players
Centre for Performance Analysis
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Exercise and Health Sciences
No research has analysed the influence of ankle muscle activity for joint mobility and stability on preferred directional cutting. Twelve basketballers completed the Y-Shaped agility test, requiring 45° cuts to the left or right, to assess planned and reactive cutting. In planned conditions, participants knew the cutting direction. In reactive conditions, participants responded to a randomly illuminated gate. Legs were defined as the outside (furthest from target gate) or inside (closest to target gate) cut legs. The preferred outside cutting leg was determined from the fastest planned cut. Electromyography measured peak normalised (against 10- meter sprint performance) activity of the tibialis anterior, peroneus longus (PL), peroneus brevis (PB), and soleus. Paired t-Tests (p > 0.05) compared preferred and non-preferred cutting legs; effect sizes (d) were calculated. There were no differences in muscle activity between the preferred and non-preferred legs in the planned (p = 0.218-0.828) or reactive (p = 0.092- 0.862) cuts. There were moderate effects for a 28% higher PL (d = 0.51), and 27% lower PB (d = 0.57) activity, for the reactive outside cut leg. Due to the synergistic nature of these muscles, there was likely no effect to agility. Irrespective of preferred cutting direction, ankle muscles respond similarly.