What is the relationship between knee height in the leg cycle and force production during the stance phase whilst running at maximal velocity?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The main aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the maximum height of the knee during the leg cycle and the peak vertical ground reaction force from the forthcoming stance phase of the same leg. The other aims were to look at the relationship between knee height and maximal velocity, peak ground reaction force and maximal velocity, knee height and stride length and finally stride length and maximal velocity. Three University sports students with a mean age = 19.67 yr ± 1.53 yr, height = 1.76 m ± 0.10 m, mass = 76.67 kg ± 5.77 kg volunteered for the study. Four CODAmotion scanners (200 Hz) were positioned allowing for a capture range of approximately fifteen metres, with a force plate (1000 Hz) positioned approximately ten metres into this range. Kinematic and kinetic data was derived from each participant completing three successful maximal velocity trials, with the athletes sprinting for around thirty five metres. Knee height, peak vertical ground reaction force, stride length, stride frequency and running velocity were calculated. The findings from the study showed that there were significant relationships (P<0.05) for two of the athletes between their knee heights and stride lengths and two athletes were found to show a significant relationship (P<0.05) between stride length and velocity. No significant relationships (P>0.05) were found between knee height and peak vertical ground reaction force, peak vertical ground reaction force and velocity and knee height and velocity. These results can suggest that for athletes who want to improve their sprint performance, knee height and peak vertical ground reaction forces do not have a direct effect upon maximal velocity and should not be the main focus during training sessions. The proposed focus should be directed towards increasing stride length and exercises targeting improvements in joint flexibility are recommended.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT COACHING
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