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Original articles  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS


The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2005 September;45(3):295-300

language: English

Flexibility and running economy in female collegiate track athletes

Beaudoin B. M., Whatley Blum J.

Department of Sports Medicine College of Nursing and Health Professions University of Southern Maine, Gorham, ME, USA


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Aim. Limited information exists regarding the association between flexibility and running economy in female athletes. This study examined relationships between lower limb and trunk flexibility and running economy in 17 female collegiate track athletes (20.12±1.80 y).
Methods. Correlational design, subjects completed 4 testing sessions over a 2-week period. The 1st session assessed maximal oxygen uptake (V.O2max=55.39±6.96 ml . kg-1 . min-1). The 2nd session assessed trunk and lower limb flexibility. Two sets of 6 trunk and lower limb flexibility measures were performed after a 10-min treadmill warm-up at 2.68 m . s-1. The 3rd session consisted of 3 10-min accommodation runs at a speed of 2.68 m . s-1 which was approximately 60% V.O2max. Each accommodation bout was separated by a 10-min rest. The 4th session assessed running economy. Subjects completed a 5-min warm-up at 2.68 m . s-1 followed by 10-min economy run at 2.68 m . s-1.
Results. Pearson product moment correlations revealed no significant correlations between running economy and flexibility measures.
Conclusion. Results are in contrast to studies demonstrating an inverse relationship between trunk and/or lower limb flexibility and running economy in males. Furthermore, results are in contrast to studies reporting positive relationships between flexibility and running economy.

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