Declines in eccentric knee flexor weakness following repeat sprint running are related to declines in biceps femoris voluntary activation

Timmins, Ryan, Opar, Ryan, Williams, Morgan, Dear, Nuala, & Shield, Anthony (2012) Declines in eccentric knee flexor weakness following repeat sprint running are related to declines in biceps femoris voluntary activation. In Australian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport : Be Active, 31 October - 3 November 2012, Sydney, NSW.

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Introduction: Hamstring strain injuries (HSI) are the predominant non-contact injury in many sports. Eccentric hamstring muscle weakness following intermittent running has been implicated within the aetiology of HSI. This weakness following intermittent running is sometimes greater eccentrically than concentrically, however the cause of this unique, contraction mode specific phenomenon is unknown. The purpose of this research was to determine whether declines in knee flexor strength following overground repeat sprints are caused by declines in voluntary activation of the hamstring muscles.

Methods: Seventeen recreationally active males completed 3 sets of 6 by 20m overground sprints. Maximal isokinetic concentric and eccentric knee flexor and concentric knee extensor strength was determined at ±1800.s-1 and ±600.s-1 while hamstring muscle activation was assessed using surface electromyography, before and 15 minutes after the running protocol.

Results: Overground repeat sprint running resulted in a significant decline in eccentric knee flexor strength (31.1 Nm; 95% CI = 21.8 to 40.3 Nm; p < 0.001). However, concentric knee flexor strength was not significantly altered (11.1 Nm; 95% CI= -2.8 to 24.9; p=0.2294). Biceps femoris voluntary activation levels displayed a significant decline eccentrically (0.067; 95% CI=0.002 to 0.063; p=0.0325). However, there was no significant decline concentrically (0.025; 95% CI=-0.018 to 0.043; p=0.4243) following sprinting. Furthermore, declines in average peak torque at -1800.s-1 could be explained by changes in hamstring activation (R2 = 0.70). Moreover, it was change in the lateral hamstring muscle activity that was related to the decrease in knee flexor torque (p = 0.0144). In comparison, medial hamstring voluntary activation showed no change for either eccentric (0.06; 95% CI = -0.033 to 0.102; p=0.298) or concentric (0.09; 95% CI = -0.03 to 0.16; p=0.298) muscle actions following repeat sprinting.

Discussion: Eccentric hamstring strength is decreased significantly following overground repeat sprinting. Voluntary activation deficits in the biceps femoris muscle explain a large portion of this weakness. The implications of these findings are significant as the biceps femoris muscle is the most frequently strained of the knee flexors and fatigue is implicated in the aetiology of this injury.

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ID Code: 54805
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: All accepted abstracts will be published in a December 2012 supplement to the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > HUMAN MOVEMENT AND SPORTS SCIENCE (110600) > Human Movement and Sports Science not elsewhere classified (110699)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: copyright 2012 please consult the authors
Deposited On: 15 Nov 2012 22:15
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2012 22:37

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