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Decline of specific peak jumping power with age in master runners

Michaelis, Ingo and Kwiet, Ariane J. and Gast, Ulf and Boshof, A. and Antvorskov, T. and Jung, T. and Rittweger, Joern and Felsenberg, Dieter (2008) Decline of specific peak jumping power with age in master runners. The Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions, 8 (1). pp. 64-70.

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Abstract

Background: It is difficult to disentangle the effects of pure ageing from those of disuse. Master athletes, however, provide an opportunity to assess the effects of ageing per se, as these people maintain high activity levels during ageing. Methods: We examined 200 female and 295 male master runners over the age of 35 who participated at European and World master championships. Runners were grouped by short, middle and long distance disciplines. Besides a questionnaire about their sports activities, measurements of counter movement jumps on a ground reaction force plate were performed. Specific peak jump power was the main subject, i.e., maximum jump power per body mass. Results: All discipline groups showed an age-related decline in specific jump power when performing counter movement jumps (p<0.001). Except for female long distance runners, the amount of decline was the same for all discipline groups (p<0.001 to p<0.01) for each gender. The results for female long distance runners was highly spread caused by the small number of participants with older age. Conclusions: Our data indicate a decline in specific jump power that is similar to that reported in previous studies. The novelty from our results is the comparison of intra-gender decline. We observed the same amount of decline for all runners participating in different running disciplines.

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