Next Article in Journal
Impact of Mitochondrial DNA Mutations on Carotid Intima-Media Thickness in the Novosibirsk Region
Previous Article in Journal
One-Seventh of Patients with COVID-19 Had Olfactory and Gustatory Abnormalities as Their Initial Symptoms: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Previous Article in Special Issue
Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Sleep Quality in Adults with Primary Hypertension and Obesity before and after an Aerobic Exercise Program: EXERDIET-HTA Study
Open AccessArticle

Changes in the Plantar Flexion Torque of the Ankle and in the Morphological Characteristics and Mechanical Properties of the Achilles Tendon after 12-Week Gait Retraining

1
School of Kinesiology, Shanghai University of Sport, Shanghai 200438, China
2
Institute of Sport and Sport Science, University of Freiburg, 79117 Freiburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Life 2020, 10(9), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10090159
Received: 4 August 2020 / Revised: 20 August 2020 / Accepted: 21 August 2020 / Published: 22 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exercise Biomechanics and Physiology)
Purpose: Although the Achilles tendon (AT) is the largest and strongest tendon, it remains one of the most vulnerable tendons among elite and recreational runners. The present study aims to explore the effects of 12-week gait retraining (GR) on the plantar flexion torque of the ankle and the morphological and mechanical properties of the AT. Methods: Thirty-four healthy male recreational runners (habitual rearfoot strikers) who never tried to run in minimal shoes were recruited, and the intervention was completed (20 in the GR group vs. 14 in the control (CON) group). The participants in the GR group were asked to run in minimal shoes (INOV-8 BARE-XF 210) provided by the investigators with forefoot strike patterns during the progressive 12-week GR. Meanwhile, the participants in the CON group were instructed to run in their own running shoes, which they were familiar with, with original foot strike patterns and intensities. The morphological properties of the AT, namely, length and cross-sectional area (CSA), were obtained by using an ultrasound device. A dynamometer was utilized simultaneously to measure and calculate the plantar flexion torque of the ankle, the rate of torque development, the peak force of the AT, and the stress and strain of the AT. Results: After 12-week GR, the following results were obtained: (1) A significant time effect in the peak ankle plantarflexion torque was observed (p = 0.005), showing a 27.5% increase in the GR group; (2) A significant group effect in the CSA was observed (p = 0.027), specifically, the increase in CSA was significantly larger in the GR group than the CON group; (3) A significant time effect in the peak AT force was observed (p = 0.005), showing a 27.5% increase in the GR group. Conclusion: The effect of 12 weeks of GR is an increase in AT CSA, plantar flexor muscle strength of the ankle, and peak AT force during a maximal voluntary isometric contraction test. These changes in AT morphology and function could be positive for tendon health and could prevent future AT injury. View Full-Text
Keywords: gait retraining; Achilles tendon; ankle plantar flexion torque; morphology; mechanical properties gait retraining; Achilles tendon; ankle plantar flexion torque; morphology; mechanical properties
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Deng, L.; Zhang, X.; Xiao, S.; Yang, Y.; Li, L.; Fu, W. Changes in the Plantar Flexion Torque of the Ankle and in the Morphological Characteristics and Mechanical Properties of the Achilles Tendon after 12-Week Gait Retraining. Life 2020, 10, 159.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop