FUNCTIONAL MUSCLE MECHANICS IN SPORTS: WHY WE SHOULD CARE!
Keywords: sport, muscle, performance, muscle properties, force-length relationship, force-velocity relationship, optimization, cross-country skiing, cycling
AbstractThe mechanical properties of muscles frequently determine the performance limits of athletes. Nevertheless, even the most basic properties of muscles, such as the force-length and force-velocity relationships are rarely considered in sport performance analysis. Here, we demonstrate with examples of track cycling and cross-country skiing that many technical choices in sport can be explained by an understanding of the basic properties of skeletal muscles and that performance can be enhanced as a result of this understanding. There is a gap of research between sport and muscle mechanics that is largely unexplored but offers exciting possibilities for basic science and applied athletic coaching and training.
Authors can retain copyright, while granting the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports (ISBS) the right of first publication.