Advertisement

European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 108, Issue 3, pp 443–450 | Cite as

Neuromechanical evidence of improved neuromuscular control around knee joint in volleyball players

  • Ilaria Masci
  • Giuseppe VannozziEmail author
  • Leonardo Gizzi
  • Pasquale Bellotti
  • Francesco Felici
Original Article

Abstract

The aim of the present work was to verify that skilled volleyball players present specific adaptations in both neuromuscular control and movement biomechanics, showing an improved neuromuscular control around the knee joint than in non-jumper athletes. Seven male volleyball players and seven male non-jumper athletes were recruited for this study. The following tests were performed in a random order: single countermovement jump (CMJ), single squat jump. At the end of the series, subjects performed a repetitive CMJ test. Electromyographic signals were recorded from vastus lateralis and biceps femoris muscles on both sides. Ground reaction forces and moments were measured with a force plate. Volleyball athletes performed better in all tests and were more resistant to fatigue than non-jumper athletes. Furthermore, volleyball athletes showed a reduced co-activation of knee flexor/extensor muscles. The present results seem to stand for a neural adaptation of the motor control scheme to training.

Keywords

Biomechanics Electromyography Co-activation Exercise Adaptation 

Abbreviations

ARV

Average rectified value

BF

Biceps femoris

BW

Body weight

CI

Co-activation index

CMJ

Countermovement jump

CNS

Central nervous system

CO

Co-activation

FT

Flight time

NJ

Non-jumpers

sEMG

Surface electromyography

SJ

Squat jump

TO

Take-off

VAL

Vastus lateralis

VP

Volleyball players

Notes

Acknowledgments

The technical support of Susan Dewhurst and Stefano Bellotti is gratefully acknowledged. The work was funded by the authors’ department.

References

  1. Aagaard P, Simonsen EB, Andersen JL, Magnusson SP, Bojsen-Møller F, Dyhre-Poulsen P (1999) Antagonist muscle coactivation during isokinetic knee extension. Scand J Med Sci Sports 10(2):58–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baratta R, Solomonow M, Zhou BH, Letson D, Chuinard R, D’Ambrosia R (1988) Muscular coactivation: the role of the antagonist musculature in maintaining knee stability. Am J Sports Med 16(2):113–122CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Basmajian JV (1977) Motor learning and control: a working hypothesis. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 58(1):38–41PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Basmajian JV, De Luca CJ (1985) Muscles alive: their functions revealed by electromyography. Williams & Wilkins, BaltimoreGoogle Scholar
  5. Bazzucchi I, Riccio ME, Felici F (2008) Tennis players show a lower coactivation of the elbow antagonist muscles during isokinetic exercises. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 8(5):752–759CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bernardi M, Solomonow M, Nguyen G, Smith A, Baratta R (1996) Motor unit recruitment strategy changes with skill acquisition. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 74(1–2):52–59CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Bernstein IH, Schurman DL, Forester G (1967) Choice reaction time as a function of stimulus uncertainty, response uncertainty, and behavioral hypotheses. J Exp Psychol 74:517–524CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Bobbert MF, van Ingen Schenau GJ (1988) Coordination in vertical jumping. J Biomech 21(3):249–262 Erratum in: J Biomech 21(9):78CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Carolan B, Cafarelli E (1992) Adaptations in coactivation after isometric resistance training. J Appl Physiol 73(3):911–917PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Dowling JJ, Vamos L (1993) Identification of kinetic and temporal factors related to vertical jump performance. J Appl Biomech 9:95–110Google Scholar
  11. Duchateau J, Semmler JG, Enoka RM (2006) Training adaptations in the behavior of human motor units. J Appl Physiol 101(6):1766–1775CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Enoka RM (2002) Neuromechanics of human movement. Human kinetics, 3rd edn. Champaign, IL, p 463Google Scholar
  13. Ferris DP, Bohra ZA, Lukos JR, Kinnaird CR (2006) Neuromechanical adaptation to hopping with an elastic ankle–foot orthosis. J Appl Physiol 100:163–170CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Guissard N, Duchateau J (2004) Effect of static stretch training on neural and mechanical properties of the human plantar-flexor muscles. Muscle Nerve 29(2):248–255CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Hagood S, Solomonow M, Baratta R, Zhou BH, D’Ambrosia R (1990) The effect of joint velocity on the contribution of the antagonist musculature to knee stiffness and laxity. Am J Sports Med 18(2):182–187CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Häkkinen K, Komi PV (1983) Changes in neuromuscular performance in voluntary and reflex contraction during strength training in man. Int J Sports Med 4:282–288CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Hermens HJ, Freriks B, Disselhorst-Klug C, Rau G (2000) Development of recommendations for SEMG sensors and sensor placement procedures. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 10(5):361–374CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Kellis E, Arabatzi F, Papadopoulos C (2003) Muscle co-activation around the knee in drop jumping using the co-contraction index. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 13(3):229–238CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Kraemer WJ, Newton RU (1994) Training for improved vertical jump. Sports Sci Exch 53(7):223–229Google Scholar
  20. Linthorne NP (2001) Analysis of standing vertical jumps using a force platform. Am J Phys 69(11):1198–1204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Pandy MG, Zajac FE (1991) Optimal muscular coordination strategies for jumping. J Biomech 24:1–10CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Sachs L (1978) Applied statistics, 2nd edn. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  23. Vanezis A, Lees A (2005) A biomechanical analysis of good and poor performers of the vertical jump. Ergonomics 48(11–14):1594–1603CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Voigt M, Simonsen EB, Dyhre-Poulsen P, Klausen K (1995) Mechanical and muscular factors influencing the performance in maximal vertical jumping after different prestretch loads. J Biomech 28(3):293–307CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilaria Masci
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Vannozzi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Leonardo Gizzi
    • 1
  • Pasquale Bellotti
    • 1
  • Francesco Felici
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human Movement and Sport SciencesUniversità degli Studi di Roma “Foro Italico”RomeItaly

Personalised recommendations