Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine ( 2019 ) 18 , 327 - 336

Research article
Acute Effects of Short-Term Local Tendon Vibration on Plantar Flexor Torque, Muscle Contractile Properties, Neuromuscular and Brain Activity in Young Athletes
Fridolin Zinke, Arnd Gebel, Urs Granacher, Olaf Prieske 
Author Information
Division of Training and Movement Sciences, Research Focus Cognitive Sciences, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany

Olaf Prieske
✉ PhD, DipSpSc University of Potsdam, Research Focus Cognitive Sciences, Division of Training and Movement Sciences, Am Neuen Palais 10 14469 Potsdam, Germany
Email: prieske@uni-potsdam.de
Publish Date
Received: 26-03-2019
Accepted: 09-04-2019
Published (online): 01-06-2019
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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of short-term Achilles tendon vibration on plantar flexor torque, twitch contractile properties as well as muscle and cortical activity in young athletes. Eleven female elite soccer players aged 15.6 ± 0.5 years participated in this study. Three different conditions were applied in randomized order: Achilles tendon vibration (80 Hz) for 30 and 300 s, and a passive control condition (300 s). Tests at baseline and following conditions included the assessment of peak plantar flexor torque during maximum voluntary contraction, electrically evoked muscle twitches (e.g., potentiated twitch peak torque [PT]), and electromyographic (EMG) activity of the plantar flexors. Additionally, electroencephalographic (EEG) activity of the primary motor and somatosensory cortex were assessed during a submaximal dynamic concentric-eccentric plantar flexion exercise using an elastic rubber band. Large-sized main effects of condition were found for EEG absolute alpha-1 and beta-1 band power (p ≤ 0.011; 1.5 ≤ d ≤2.6). Post-hoc tests indicated that alpha-1 power was significantly lower at 30 and 300 s (p = 0.009; d = 0.8) and beta-1 power significantly lower at 300 s (p < 0.001; d = 0.2) compared to control condition. No significant effect of condition was found for peak plantar flexor torque, electrical evoked muscle twitches, and EMG activity. In conclusion, short-term local Achilles tendon vibration induced lower brain activity (i.e., alpha-1 and beta-1 band power) but did not affect lower limb peak torque, twitch contractile properties, and muscle activity. Lower brain activity following short-term local Achilles tendon vibration may indicate improved cortical function during a submaximal dynamic exercise in female young soccer players.

Key words: Postactivation potentiation, electromyography, electroencephalography, maximum voluntary contraction, soccer


           Key Points
  • Short-term local Achilles tendon vibration induced lower brain activity (i.e., alpha-1 and beta-1 band power) during a submaximal dynamic exercise, whereas lower limb peak torque, twitch contractile properties, and muscle activity were not affected in young female athletes.
  • Lower brain activity may indicate improved cortical function during a submaximal dynamic exercise following short-term local Achilles tendon vibration in young female athletes.
  • In terms of performance measures related to lower limb maximal strength, short-term local Achilles tendon vibration cannot specifically be recommended as an activity to acutely improve performance in young female athletes.
 
 
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