European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 117, Issue 8, pp 1739–1746 | Cite as

Muscular viscoelastic characteristics of athletes participating in the European Master Indoor Athletics Championship

  • Marco Gervasi
  • Davide Sisti
  • Stefano Amatori
  • Marco Andreazza
  • Piero Benelli
  • Piero Sestili
  • Marco Bruno Luigi Rocchi
  • Anna Rita Calavalle
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate how the viscoelastic characteristics of muscles (non-neural tone, elasticity and stiffness) vary as a function of age and gender in a sample of track and field master athletes. To compare these findings with data on related sedentary subjects in literature.

Methods

A total of 390 athletes (aged 35–99) were assessed during the European Master Athletics Indoor Championship 2016. A non-invasive measurement device called MyotonPro was used to measure tone, stiffness, and elasticity in the biceps brachii and rectus femoris muscles at rest. Linear regression analysis was used to assess the correlation between age and the measured parameters. To compare our results with previously reported data, we stratified participants according to gender and age.

Results

Tone was found to not be dependent on age, whereas stiffness was found to be age dependent. Elasticity was found to be both physical activity and age dependent. Tone (only for men), elasticity, and stiffness were lower in master athletes than in sedentary subjects.

Conclusions

Tone, elasticity, and stiffness change with aging; nevertheless, our findings suggest that physical activity can delay the effects of muscular aging, improving fitness in older people.

Keywords

Aging Gender Tone Elasticity Stiffness Physical activity 

Abbreviations

BB

Biceps brachii

BMI

Body mass index

CSA

Cross-sectional area

E

Elasticity

EMACI

European Master Athletics Championships Indoor

ES

Effect size

FFT

Fast Fourier transform

ICCs

Intra-class correlation coefficients

RF

Rectus femoris

S

Stiffness

T

Tone

Supplementary material

421_2017_3668_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (60 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 60 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomolecular Sciences - Division of Exercise and Health SciencesUniversity of Urbino Carlo BoUrbinoItaly

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