Relationships between Muscle Architecture and Measures of Strength and Power in Collegiate Volleyball Players.

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PURPOSE: To examine the relationships between muscle architecture and countermovement jump height, peak power, and maximal strength in collegiate volleyball players. METHODS: Fifteen female volleyball players (20 ± 1.3y, 176.3 ± 6.6cm, 70.1 ± 8.4 kg) were recruited as part of an ongoing athlete monitoring program. Athletes were tested on measures of vastus lateralis (VL) and lateral gastrocnemius (LG) muscle thickness (MT), pennation angle (PA), and fascicle length (FL) using ultrasonography; countermovement jump height (CMJH, n = 14 and peak power allometrically scaled (CMJPPa, n = 14); and isometric peak force allometrically scaled (IPFa, n = 12). Pearson’s product moment zero-order correlations were used for analysis with critical alpha set to p ≤ 0.05. RESULTS: Analysis revealed a positive relationship between VL MT and IPFa (r = 0.64, p = 0.025) and an inverse relationship between LG MT and CMJH (r = -0.54, p = 0.048). There were positive relationships between VL PA and all performance measures and between LG PA and CMJPPa (r = 0.54 to 0.71, p. < 0.05), and inverse relationships between VL FL and CMJPPa and between LG FL and all performance measures (r = -0.59 to -0.67, p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Better jumpers had larger PA and shorter FL in both VL and LG, and stronger athletes had greater MT in VL, showing that differences in muscle architecture can influence performance parameters. Considering these findings and the results from previous longitudinal studies demonstrating the effects of heavy strength training on muscle architecture, it is recommended that collegiate volleyball athletes incorporate heavy lower body strength training into their training plan in order to increase PA in VL and LG and MT in VL.


Greenville, SC

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