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The effect of exercise repetition on the frequency characteristics of motor output force : Implications for Achilles tendinopathy rehabilitation

Elsevier Australia
Publication Date
  • 110601 Biomechanics
  • 110604 Sports Medicine
  • Eccentric Exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Physiological Tremor
  • Tendon


Objectives: To investigate the frequency characteristics of the ground reaction force (GRF) recorded throughout the eccentric Achilles tendon rehabilitation programme described by Alfredson. Design: Controlled laboratory study, longitudinal. Methods: Nine healthy adult males performed six sets (15 repetitions per set) of eccentric ankle exercise. Ground reaction force was recorded throughout the exercise protocol. For each exercise repetition the frequency power spectrum of the resultant ground reaction force was calculated and normalised to total power. The magnitude of peak relative power within the 8-12 Hz bandwidth and the frequency at which this peak occurred was determined. Results: The magnitude of peak relative power within the 8-12 Hz bandwidth increased with each successive exercise set and following the 4th set (60 repetitions) of exercise the frequency at which peak relative power occurred shifted from 9 to 10 Hz. Conclusions: The increase in magnitude and frequency of ground reaction force vibrations with an increasing number of exercise repetitions is likely connected to changes in muscle activation with fatigue and tendon conditioning. This research illustrates the potential for the number of exercise repetitions performed to influence the tendons' mechanical environment, with implications for tendon remodelling and the clinical efficacy of eccentric rehabilitation programmes for Achilles tendinopathy.

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