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    Discipline-specific Torque-Velocity Profiles and Musculotendinous Morphology in Athletes

    Cesanelli, L, Venckunas, T, Ylaitė, B, Streckis, V, Kamandulis, S, Degens, H ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7399-4841 and Satkunskiene, D (2024) Discipline-specific Torque-Velocity Profiles and Musculotendinous Morphology in Athletes. Journal of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions (JMNI), 24 (2). pp. 127-138. ISSN 1108-7161

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    Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare torque-velocity profiles, muscle architecture, tendon dimensions, and bilateral-symmetry between competitive cyclists (CY), competitive runners (RN), ice-hockey players (IH), basketball players (BP), and physically-active individuals (CN) (n=10 for each group). Methods: Vastus lateralis (VL) muscle and patellar tendon (PT) structures were determined with B-mode ultrasonography, and maximal knee extensor isokinetic torque was assessed at three different velocities. Results: Optimal torque and velocity were lower in runners than CY, BP and IH (p<0.05). Maximal power was similar between the athlete groups but greater than CN (p<0.05). Furthermore, RN and BP reached their peak-torque at longer muscle lengths compared to IH and CY (p<0.05). RN had the lowest VL muscle thickness and the greatest fascicle length, while CY had the greatest pennation angle (p<0.05). CY had the greatest PT thickness, particularly at the proximal and medial sites, while BP at the distal point (p<0.05), with similar trends observed for PT cross-sectional-area. Conclusions: Our findings show that even if power generating capacity is similar between athletic disciplines, there are discipline-specific muscle adaptations, where particularly runners appear to have muscles adapted for speed rather than torque development, while in cyclists, velocity is sacrificed for torque development.

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