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The neuromuscular determinants of unilateral jump performance in soccer players are direction-specific

Murtagh, C, Nulty, C, Vanrenterghem, J, O'Boyle, A, Morgans, R, Drust, B and Erskine, RM (2017) The neuromuscular determinants of unilateral jump performance in soccer players are direction-specific. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. ISSN 1555-0265

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Purpose: To investigate differences in neuromuscular factors between elite and non-elite players, and to establish which factors underpin direction-specific unilateral jump performance. Methods: Elite (n=23; age, 18.1 ± 1.0 yrs; BMI, 23.1 ± 1.8 kg/m2) and non-elite (n=20; age, 22.3 ± 2.7 yrs; BMI, 23.8 ± 1.8 kg/m2) soccer players performed three unilateral countermovement jumps (CMJs) on a force platform in the vertical, horizontal-forward and medial directions. Knee extension isometric maximum voluntary contraction (iMVC) torque was assessed using isokinetic dynamometry. Vastus lateralis fascicle length and angle of pennation (AoP), and quadriceps femoris muscle volume (Mvol) and physiological cross sectional area (PCSA) were assessed using ultrasonography. Vastus lateralis activation was assessed via electromyography. Results: Elite soccer players presented greater knee extensor iMVC torque (365.7±66.6 vs. 320.1±62.6 N·m; P=0.045), Mvol (2853±508 vs. 2429±232 cm3, P=0.001) and PCSA (227±42 vs. 193±25 cm2, P=0.003) than non-elite. In both cohorts, unilateral vertical and unilateral medial CMJ performance correlated with Mvol and PCSA (r≥0.310 P≤0.043). In elite soccer players, unilateral vertical and unilateral medial CMJ performance correlated with upward phase vastus lateralis activation, and AoP (r≥0.478, P≤0.028). Unilateral horizontal-forward CMJ peak vertical power did not correlate with any measure of muscle size or activation but correlated inversely with AoP (r=-0.413; P=0.037). Conclusions: Whilst larger and stronger quadriceps differentiated elite from non-elite players, relationships between neuromuscular factors and unilateral jump performance were shown to be direction-specific. These findings support a notion that improving direction-specific muscular power in soccer requires improving a distinct neuromuscular profile.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Human Kinetics in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance on 28/12/17, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2017-0589
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1106 Human Movement And Sports Science
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Human Kinetics
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2017 11:26
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 03:31
DOI or Identification number: 10.1123/ijspp.2017-0589
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7676

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