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The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of plyometric training and eccentric training on Achilles tendon stiffness in male long-distance runners
Twenty male long-distance runners, aged between 18-30 years, were recruited for this study. They were matched by Achilles tendon stiffness and were randomly divided into 2 groups with equal number of subjects (n=10/group): a plyometric training (PLY) and an eccentric training (ECC) groups. Both groups trained 3 days per week for 6 weeks. Maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVC), tendon displacement and Achilles tendon stiffness were measured before and after intervention. Dependent t-test and independent sample t-test were used for statistical analysis. A level of significant was set at p-value < 0.05.
The results showed that the plyometric training displayed significantly increased (p < 0.05) Achilles tendon stiffness and significantly decreased (p < 0.05) tendon displacement, while had no effect on MVC. In contrast, eccentric training resulted in significantly increased (p < 0.05) Achilles tendon stiffness and MVC, but unchanged tendon displacement. Nevertheless, there was no significant difference in Achilles tendon stiffness observed between groups.
These results indicate that a 6-week of plyometric training or eccentric training was effective in enhancing Achilles tendon stiffness and can be used by coaches and athletes to strengthen Achilles tendon stiffness in male long-distance runners.
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