Gastrocnemius Fascicle And Achilles Tendon Length At The End Of The Eccentric Phase In A Single And Multiple Countermovement Hop

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alan Needle Ph.D., Assistant Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: The purpose of this investigation was to compare fascicle and tendon length of the gastrocnemius at the end of the eccentric phase during a hop utilizing a single countermovement (sCM) versus multiple countermovement (mCM1, mCM2, mCM3) strategy. Seventeen healthy males performed nine hopping trials of sCM and nine trials of mCM. Ankle and knee joint angle and lower leg length from videography and muscle ultrasound were used to calculate muscle-tendon unit (MTU), fascicle and tendon length. Sacral marker data was used to determine hopping height. Force- and displacement-time curves were utilized to calculate work. Muscle activity of the lateral and medial gastrocnemius was also measured. Fascicle length was significantly shorter (mCM3: 6.2± 1.5 cm, sCM: 7.3 ± 2.0 cm) and tendon length was significantly longer (mCM3: 36.5 ± 3.6 cm, sCM: 35.5 ± 3.8 cm) at the end of the eccentric phase in mCM3 in comparison to sCM. Maximal hopping height (mCM: 14.6 ± 3.1 cm, sCM: 13.1 ± 2.5 cm), eccentric phase gastrocnemius muscle activity (mCM medial gastrocnemius: 0.10 ± 0.03 mV, mCM lateral gastrocnemius: 0.08 ± 0.04 mV, sCM medial gastrocnemius: 0.07 ± 0.03 mV, sCM lateral gastrocnemius: 0.05 ± 0.04 mV), and both eccentric (mCM3: 46.6 ± 19.4 J, sCM: 38.5 ± 15.9 J) and concentric work (mCM3: 87.6 ± 26.5 J, sCM: 80.9 ± 27.6 J) were significantly higher for mCM3 compared to sCM. The results indicate that a multiple countermovement hop strategy results in shorter fascicle length and longer tendon length at the end of the eccentric phase. In addition, greater eccentric phase muscle activity during the third countermovement (mCM3) in comparison to a single countermovement hop (sCM) was observed. A multiple countermovement strategy appears to result in higher hopping height and greater work done in both the eccentric and concentric phase indicating possible contribution of stored-elastic energy from the tendon.

Additional Information

Daniel E. Lidstone, Herman van Werkhoven, Alan R. Needle, Paige E. Rice, Jeffrey M. McBride, (2018). Gastrocnemius fascicle and achilles tendon length at the end of the eccentric phase in a single and multiple countermovement hop, Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. Volume 38, 2018, Pages 175-181, ISSN 1050-6411, Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2017
Stretch-shortening cycle, Jumping, Performance, Ankle, Gastrocnemius, Muscle activity

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