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Patellar tendon properties distinguish elite from non-elite soccer players and are related to peak horizontal but not vertical power

Murtagh, CF, Stubbs, M, Vanrenterghem, J, O'Boyle, A, Morgans, R, Drust, B and Erskine, RM Patellar tendon properties distinguish elite from non-elite soccer players and are related to peak horizontal but not vertical power. European Journal of Applied Physiology. ISSN 1439-6319 (Accepted)

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Purpose: The aims of our study were to investigate differences in tendon properties between elite and non-elite soccer players, and to establish whether tendon properties were related to power assessed during unilateral jumps in different directions. Methods: Elite (n=16; age, 18.1 ± 1.0yrs) and non-elite (n=13; age, 22.3 ± 2.7yrs) soccer players performed three repetitions of each type (unilateral vertical, unilateral horizontal-forward and unilateral medial) of countermovement jump (CMJ) on a force plate. Patellar tendon (PT) cross-sectional area (CSA), elongation, stiffness and Young’s modulus (measured at the highest common force interval) were assessed with ultrasonography and isokinetic dynamometry. Results: Elite soccer players demonstrated greater PT elongation (6.83±1.87 vs. 4.92±1.88 mm, P=0.011) and strain (11.73±3.25 vs. 8.38±3.06 %, P=0.009) than non-elite. Projectile range and peak horizontal power during unilateral horizontal-forward CMJ correlated positively with tendon elongation (r=0.657 and 0.693, P<0.001) but inversely with Young’s modulus (r=-0.376 and -0.402, P=0.044 and 0.031). Peak medial power during unilateral medial CMJ correlated positively with tendon elongation (r=0.658, P=<0.001) but inversely with tendon stiffness (r=-0.368, P=0.050). No tendon property correlated with unilateral vertical CMJ performance (r≤0.168; P≥0.204). Conclusions: Patellar tendon strain was greater in elite vs. non-elite soccer players and can therefore be considered an indicator of elite soccer playing status. Moreover, a more compliant patellar tendon appears to facilitate unilateral horizontal-forward and medial, but not vertical CMJ performance in soccer players. These findings should be considered when prescribing the detail of talent selection and development protocols related to direction-specific power in elite soccer players.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement And Sports Science
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Springer
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 22 May 2018 10:38
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2018 16:20
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s00421-018-3894-z
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8695

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