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  • Author: Cédric Schwartz x
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Abstract

Running biomechanics and its evolution that occurs over intensive trials are widely studied, but few studies have focused on the reproducibility of stride evolution in these runs. The purpose of this investigation was to assess the reproducibility of changes in eight biomechanical variables during exhaustive runs, using three-dimensional analysis. Ten male athletes (age: 23 ± 4 years; maximal oxygen uptake: 57.5 ± 4.4 ml02·min-1·kg-1; maximal aerobic speed: 19.3 ± 0.8 km·h-1) performed a maximal treadmill test. Between 3 to 10 days later, they started a series of three time-to-exhaustion trials at 90% of the individual maximal aerobic speed, seven days apart. During these trials eight biomechanical variables were recorded over a 20-s period every 4 min until exhaustion. The evolution of a variable over a trial was represented as the slope of the linear regression of these variables over time. Reproducibility was assessed with intraclass correlation coefficients and variability was quantified as standard error of measurement. Changes in five variables (swing duration, stride frequency, step length, centre of gravity vertical and lateral amplitude) showed moderate to good reproducibility (0.48 ≤ ICC ≤ 0.72), while changes in stance duration, reactivity and foot orientation showed poor reproducibility (-0.71 ≤ ICC ≤ 0.04). Fatigue-induced changes in stride biomechanics do not follow a reproducible course across the board; however, several variables do show satisfactory stability: swing duration, stride frequency, step length and centre of gravity shift.

Abstract

To meet the demand of a player’s entourage (e.g., coaches and medical staff), it is important for the biomechanics specialist to perform repeatable measures. To the best of our knowledge, to date, it has not been demonstrated whether similar results are obtained between two sessions of testing or between laboratory and field sport kinematic protocols with regard to the tennis serve. This study had two primary aims. First, the inter-session repeatability of biomechanical variables of a tennis serve was evaluated. Second, the differences between laboratory and field evaluations were studied. Thirteen national tennis players (ITN 3) performed the same 28 markers’ set laboratory test twice two weeks apart, and other thirteen national players (ITN 3) performed two 4 markers’ set tests both in the laboratory and on an official tennis court one week apart. A 3D motion system was used to measure lower-limb, pelvis, trunk, dominant arm and racket kinematics. A force plate was used to evaluate kinetics of legs’ drive in the laboratory. A personal method based on a point scoring system was developed to evaluate the ball landing location accuracy. We observed that the majority of the studied variables were acceptable for excellent relative reliability for the inter-session analysis. We also showed that the impact of the laboratory versus field context on the player’s serve was limited