We aimed to investigate the characteristics of lower-limb strength and power used for lower-limb mechanical variables in rebound jump (RJ) test by using a new system (Quick Motion Analysis System), which calculates mechanical variables in real time. Thirty-three male jumpers performed the RJ test. The performance (RJ index, contact time, and jump height) and joint kinetics (joint work and joint contribution) in RJ were calculated. IAAF Scoring Tables of Athletics were used to calculate jump event performance (IAAF score). IAAF score was positive correlated with RJ index, jump height, and joint work at the ankle and hip joints. Elite jumpers achieved higher RJ performance by larger ankle and hip joint work. As performance variables, jumping height and contact time were converted to T scores, and evaluation method was proposed to use the relative merits of these values to classify athletes into four types. The IAAF score showed no differences among the four types. These results indicate that there is no relation among jump events performance and characteristics of the four types. Moreover, focusing on stiffness, based on the contact time and jump height, jumpers with a longer contact time and higher jump height type showed lower stiffness (compliant spring characteristics), whereas those with the opposite features showed higher stiffness (stiffer spring characteristics). Therefore, for evaluating lower-limb strength and power characteristics, the use of performance and joint kinetics are effective, in addition to focusing on type characteristics based on the contact time and jump height in RJ.
The purpose of this study was to examine the age- and athletic event-related differences in trunk muscularity among junior and senior athletes. The cross-sectional areas (CSAs) of the rectus abdominis, lateral abdominal muscle group, psoas major and erector spinae were determined on magnetic resonance imaging for 188 junior athletes aged 12-18 years and 164 senior athletes aged ≥ 19 years in six different athletic events (male: archery, table tennis, Nordic combined, basketball, and wrestling; female: archery, table tennis, and gymnastics). To examine the age-related differences for each athletic event and sex, the subjects were classified into the following age groups: 12-15 years, 16-18 years and senior (≥ 19 years). The main results were as follows. 1) The magnitude relationships of trunk muscle CSA/height2 differed among the age groups by athletic event and muscle. 2) The values of CSA/height2 of the lateral abdominal muscle group and erector spinae were significantly larger in female gymnasts aged 12-15 years than in female athletes from the other athletic events. These results respectively indicated that 1) each trunk muscle has the potential to specifically develop according to the athletic events and 2) selective hypertrophy of the trunk muscles can be induced by training reflecting athletic event-specific characteristics in female junior high school athletes.
This study aimed to clarify the differences in cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses to body mass-based front lunge and squat exercises with relation to muscular activity. Seven healthy adult males performed 200 times body mass-based squat and front lunge exercises. During the exercises, oxygen uptake, heart rate (HR), blood lactate concentration (La), ground reaction force were measured. Oxygen uptake was divided by body mass (VO2). VO2 and HR was normalized to maximal VO2 (%VO2max) and maximal HR (%HRmax) obtained from an incremental load test. Electromyograms (EMGs) during the two exercises were recorded from the vastus lateralis (VL), rectus femoris, vastus medialis (VM), biceps femoris, gluteus maximus (GM). EMG amplitudes during both exercises were normalized to those during maximal voluntary contraction, and expressed as relative value (%EMGMVC). Time that cardiorespiratory parameters became stable was 4-6 min in both exercises. VO2, %VO2max, metabolic equivalent, were higher in the front lunge than the squat. No significant differences in HR, %HRmax and La were found between both tasks. %EMGMVC in VL, VM and GM were higher in the front lunge than the squat. These current findings indicate that 1) body mass-based squat and front lunge exercises are physiologically of more than moderate intensity, and 2) the cardiorespiratory responses to body mass-based front lunge are greater than those to body mass-based squat. This may be due to the difference in muscular activities of VL, VM and GM during the tasks.