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
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2015) 14, 698 - 701

Research article
Assessing Stride Variables and Vertical Stiffness with GPS-Embedded Accelerometers: Preliminary Insights for the Monitoring of Neuromuscular Fatigue on the Field
Martin Buchheit1,2,3, , Andrew Gray4,5, Jean-Benoit Morin6
Author Information
1 Sport Science Department, Myorobie Association, Montvalezan, France
2 Performance Department, Paris Saint-Germain Football Club, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
3 Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living, College of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia
4 Athletic Data Innovations, Sydney, Australia
5 Cronulla Sharks Rugby League Football Club, Australia
6 Laboratoire Motricité Humaine Education Sport Santé, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, Nice, France

Martin Buchheit
✉ Sport Science Department, Myorobie Association, 73700 Montvalezan, France
Publish Date
Received: 08-04-2015
Accepted: 26-07-2015
Published (online): 24-11-2015
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The aim of the present study was to examine the ability of a GPS-imbedded accelerometer to assess stride variables and vertical stiffness (K), which are directly related to neuromuscular fatigue during field-based high-intensity runs. The ability to detect stride imbalances was also examined. A team sport player performed a series of 30-s runs on an instrumented treadmill (6 runs at 10, 17 and 24 km·h-1) with or without his right ankle taped (aimed at creating a stride imbalance), while wearing on his back a commercially-available GPS unit with an embedded 100-Hz tri-axial accelerometer. Contact (CT) and flying (FT) time, and K were computed from both treadmill and accelerometers (Athletic Data Innovations) data. The agreement between treadmill (criterion measure) and accelerometer-derived data was examined. We also compared the ability of the different systems to detect the stride imbalance. Biases were small (CT and K) and moderate (FT). The typical error of the estimate was trivial (CT), small (K) and moderate (FT), with nearly perfect (CT and K) and large (FT) correlations for treadmill vs. accelerometer. The tape induced very large increase in the right - left foot ∆ in CT, FT and K measured by the treadmill. The tape effect on CT and K ∆ measured with the accelerometers were also very large, but of lower magnitude than with the treadmill. The tape effect on accelerometer-derived ∆ FT was unclear. Present data highlight the potential of a GPS-embedded accelerometer to assess CT and K during ground running.

Key words: Movement tracking, fatigue monitoring

           Key Points
  • GPS-embedded tri-axial accelerometers may be used to assess contact time and vertical stiffness during ground running.
  • These preliminary results open new perspective for the field monitoring of neuromuscular fatigue and performance in run-based sports
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