TRICEPS SURAE MUSCULOTENDINOUS STIFFNESS: RELATIVE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SOCCER AND NON-SOCCER PLAYERS

  • Aurélio Faria
  • Ronaldo Gabriel
  • João Abrantes
  • Paola Wood
  • Helena Moreira
Keywords: Biomechanics, Soccer, Ankle stiffness

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the muscle-tendon unit stiffness of the ankle between professional soccer players and non-soccer players. Fifteen soccer players and twenty-one non-soccer players participated in this study. The stiffness of the triceps surae muscle-tendon unit was measured in vivo from the damped frequency of oscillation of the shank about the ankle using a free oscillation technique. Using the t-test no significant differences (P > 0.05) were found between the soccer and the control groups for muscle-tendon unit stiffness of the triceps surae. The soccer group showed stiffness values of 22059 (SD 3623) N/m, while the control group showed values of 20427 (SD 4517) N/m. These results suggest that neither the soccer training nor the games itself affected the stiffness of the ankle of the players.