SPRING JUMPERS VS POWER JUMPERS: ROLE OF THE ANKLE JOINT IN ELITE WUSHU PERFORMANCE AND INJURY RISK
Keywords: jumping, stretch-shortening cycle, ankle, stiffness, acrobatics
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to characterize two jumping strategies observed in elite wushu athletes: power and spring jumping. Inverse dynamics analysis was conducted on 12 male wushu athletes performing squat jumps, drop jumps and wushu-specific acrobatic jumps. Ankle laxity and Achilles tendon elasticity were also measured. Spring jumpers showed lower ankle laxity and a bilinear evolution of overall ankle stiffness during the concentric phase of the stance, compared to power jumpers. They also showed higher peak valgus reaction moments at the knee joint. Tendon elasticity was similar between groups. As spring jumping strategy is more efficient in terms of energy expenditure and fatigue dependence, lower limb injury risk can be higher. Attention must be paid to athlete-specific jumping strategies for personalized conditioning and injury prevention.
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