Can we modify maximal speed running posture? Implications for performance and hamstring injury management

Jurdan Mendiguchia, Adrian Castano-Zambudio, Pedro Jimenez-Reyes, Jean-Benoit Morin, Pascal Edouard, Filipe Conceicao, Jonas Dodoo, Steffi Colyer

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Abstract

Purpose: Sprint kinematics have been linked to hamstring injury and performance. This study aimed to examine if a specific 6-week multimodal intervention, combining lumbopelvic control and unning technique exercises, induced changes in pelvis and lower-limb kinematics at maximal speed and improved sprint performance. Methods: Healthy amateur athletes were assigned to a control or intervention group (IG). A sprint test with 3-dimensional kinematic measurements was performed before (PRE) and after (POST) 6 weeks of training. The IG program included 3 weekly sessions integrating coaching, strength and conditioning, and physical therapy approaches (eg, manual therapy, mobility, lumbopelvic control, strength and sprint "front-side mechanics"-oriented drills). Results: Analyses of variance showed no between-group differences at PRE. At POST, intragroup analyses showed PRE-POST differences for the pelvic (sagittal and frontal planes) and thigh kinematics and improved sprint performance (split times) for the IG only. Specifically, IG showed (1) a lower anterior pelvic tilt during the late swing phase, (2) greater pelvic obliquity on the free-leg side during the early swing phase, (3) higher vertical position of the front-leg knee, (4) an increase in thigh angular velocity and thigh retraction velocity, (5) lower between-knees distance at initial contact, and (6) a shorter ground contact duration. The intergroup analysis revealed disparate effects (possibly to very likely) in the most relevant variables investigated. Conclusion: The 6-week multimodal training program induced clear pelvic and lower-limb kinematic changes during maximal speed sprinting. These alterations may collectively be associated with reduced risk of muscle strain and were concomitant with significant sprint performance improvement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374–383
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Volume17
Issue number3
Early online date18 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was made possible by technical support from the Department for Health, University of Bath. The authors are grateful to Andrea Astrella from Sports Biomechanical Engineering for his illustrations and Victor Cuadrado for his support. The authors would like to thank the participants of this study for their cooperation and effort.

Keywords

  • front-side mechanics
  • hamstring strain
  • pelvic tilt
  • sprint kinematics
  • sprint mechanics
  • sprint performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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