Frontiers in Physiology (Apr 2019)

Landing-Takeoff Asymmetries Applied to Running Mechanics: A New Perspective for Performance

  • Rodrigo Gomes da Rosa,
  • Henrique Bianchi Oliveira,
  • Natalia Andrea Gomeñuka,
  • Marcos Paulo Bienert Masiero,
  • Edson Soares da Silva,
  • Ana Paula Janner Zanardi,
  • Alberito Rodrigo de Carvalho,
  • Pedro Schons,
  • Leonardo Alexandre Peyré-Tartaruga

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 10


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Background:Elastic bouncing is a physio-mechanical model that can elucidate running behavior in different situations, including landing and takeoff patterns and the characteristics of the muscle-tendon units during stretch and recoil in running. An increase in running speed improves the body’s elastic mechanisms. Although some measures of elastic bouncing are usually carried out, a general description of the elastic mechanism has not been explored in running performance. This study aimed to compare elastic bouncing parameters between the higher- and lower-performing athletes in a 3000 m test.Methods:Thirty-eight endurance runners (men) were divided into two groups based on 3000 m performance: the high-performance group (Phigh; n = 19; age: 29 ± 5 years; mass: 72.9 ± 10 kg; stature: 177 ± 8 cm; 3000time: 656 ± 32 s) and the low-performance group (Plow; n = 19; age: 32 ± 6 years; mass: 73.9 ± 7 kg; stature: 175 ± 5 cm; 3000time: 751 ± 29 s). They performed three tests on different days: (i) 3000 m on a track; (ii) incremental running test; and (iii) a running biomechanical test on a treadmill at 13 different speeds from 8 to 20 km h−1. Performance was evaluated using the race time of the 3000 m test. The biomechanics variables included effective contact time (tce), aerial time (tae), positive work time (tpush), negative work time (tbreak), step frequency (fstep), and elastic system frequency (fsist), vertical displacement (Sv) in tce and tae (Sce and Sae), vertical force, and vertical stiffness were evaluated in a biomechanical submaximal test on treadmill.Results:The tae, fsist, vertical force and stiffness were higher (p < 0.05) and tce and fstep were lower (p < 0.05) in Phigh, with no differences between groups in tpush and tbreak.Conclusion:The elastic bouncing was optimized in runners of the best performance level, demonstrating a better use of elastic components.