Spring jumpers vs power jumpers: ankle joint behavior in elite wushu athletes and implications for performance and injury risk
Article dans une revue avec comité de lecture
Wushu, better known as kungfu, is the modern athletic form of Chinese martial arts, and consists of performing a routine of martial arts movements as well as acrobatic jumps. Since those acrobatic jumps are performed on a hard floor, vertical jump height plays a major role in elite performance. Wushu coaches often mention two differ- ent types of athletes: spring jumpers and power jumpers. From this empirical point of view, spring jumpers seem to jump more easily. As in many sports, wushu jumps are performed with a run up followed by a stance phase with eccentric and concentric phases, often referred to as a ‘stretch-short- ening cycle’ (SSC). Vertical jump height, in this case, is the result of three main components acting during the concentric phase: muscle fiber shortening, coordination between joints and recoil of elastic energy stored during the eccentric phase. Whereas the squat jump exercise (SJ) is used to evaluate the first component, the drop jump (DJ) can be used as a standard exercise to analyze the whole SSC. The overall ability of an athlete to benefit from a previous eccentric phase can be evaluated by pre-stretch augmentation (PSA), defined as the ratio of DJ and SJ performances (Kubo et al. 2007). Ankle behavior can be characterized by the evolution of joint torque, obtained with inverse dynamics, with respect to joint angle during the different phases of the support phase, with the slope being considered as overall joint stiffness. The aim of this study was to characterize spring and power jumpers in elite wushu athletes in terms of PSA, ankle laxity, and overall ankle stiffness during the concen- tric phase. The influence of the chosen jumping strategies on performance and injury risk will be also discussed.
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