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Ultrasound Changes in Achilles Tendon and Gastrocnemius Medialis Muscle on Squat Eccentric Overload and Running Performance

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Sanz-López, F, Berzosa Sánchez, C, Hita-Contreras, F, Cruz-Diaz, D, and Martínez-Amat, A. Ultrasound changes in Achilles tendon and gastrocnemius medialis muscle on squat eccentric overload and running performance. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000–000, 2015—Previous studies have proven the adaptation to load in the Achilles tendon and gastrocnemius muscle after different types of exercise, such as running, heel drop training, and a variety of sports. These findings have been applied to improve performance and in the treatment and prevention of overuse injuries. However, the effects that squat performance may have on the Achilles tendon and gastrocnemius muscle are still unknown. Squats are a widely used training exercise that involves calf-muscle activation. Similarly, no reports have been published regarding the adaptation to load of trained and untrained subjects during several consecutive days of running. The purpose of this study was to analyze changes in the Achilles tendon and in the pennation angles of the gastrocnemius medialis after eccentric overload training and within 3 days of running. Twenty healthy males who volunteered for this study were divided into 2 groups. Subjects in the eccentric overload training (ECC) group performed 6 weeks of eccentric overload training (twice weekly, 4 sets of 7 repetitions in a Yoyo squat device) before the running intervention. All participants, ECC and control (CONT) groups, ran on 3 consecutive days. After the eccentric training, an increase in the cross-sectional area of the Achilles tendon and in the pennation angle was observed. As for the running intervention, the behavior of tissues in both groups was similar. These results suggest that eccentric overload training with squats promotes changes in the Achilles tendon and in the pennation angle of the gastrocnemius medialis muscle. Nevertheless, significant changes in the tissue do not appear between the running performance of trained and untrained subjects.
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Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: July 1, 2016

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