Sprinters constantly perform counter-clockwise (CCW) curved running around a track with the left leg acting as the inside leg on the curve and the right leg acting as the outside leg. Biomechanical asymmetries in lower extremity functions when sprinting on a curve have been demonstrated, potentially resulting in lower extremity joint range of motion (ROM) and muscle strength asymmetries. Joint ROM and muscle strength asymmetries have been associated with injury in runners. PURPOSE: To identify biomechanical and anatomical asymmetries between the inside and outside legs associated with curved running in track sprinters and to evaluate potential associations between ROM and muscle strength asymmetries and injury. METHODS: 17 male and female SCSU track sprinters (experience: 6.4 ± 2.9 years) participated in this study. Active and passive joint ROM and muscle strength were assessed for 12 different joint motions and muscle groups in both lower extremities. Two maximal effort 150 m sprints in lanes one and six of a 200-m indoor track were performed to evaluate peak vertical ground reaction forces (vGRFs) of the inside and outside legs. Fourteen participants (82.4%) had a history of injury. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in active and passive ROM, muscle strength, and peak vGRFs between the inside and outside legs (p>0.05). However, significant ROM asymmetries were found when comparing the leg with the greater ROM to the leg with the smaller ROM, regardless of inside/outside leg status (p<0.05). Additionally, muscle strength asymmetries of 10% or greater between the lower extremities were identified in all participants. CONCLUSIONS: The lack of significant differences between the inside and outside legs indicated that there were no generalized long-term asymmetrical adaptations to continuous CCW sprinting around a curved track. The significant differences presented in joint ROM did not favor one lower extremity, which indicated variability in ROM asymmetries. Muscle strength asymmetries of 10% or greater have been associated with increased injury risk and all study participants demonstrated these muscle strength asymmetries, regardless of whether or not the participant had a history of running-related injuries. Therefore, ROM and muscle strength asymmetries did not demonstrate consistent inside/outside leg patterns in sprinters but could be associated with injury.
|Advisor:||Gregory, Robert W., Robertson, Marc I.|
|School:||Southern Connecticut State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Connecticut|
|Source:||MAI 81/2(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Asymmetry, Curved-path running, Curvilinear sprinting, Range of motion, Strength, Track and field|
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