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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2020 Sep 03

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11178-2

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Descriptive profile for lower-limb range of motion in professional road cyclists

Victor MORENO-PÉREZ 1, 2, Javier COUREL-IBÁÑEZ 3, Manuel MATEO MARCH 1, Álvaro LÓPEZ-SAMANES 4 , Juan DEL COSO 5

1 Sports Research Center, Miguel Hernandez University of Elche, Alicante, Spain; 2 Center for Translational Research in Physiotherapy, Department of Pathology and Surgery, Miguel Hernandez University of Elche, San Joan, Spain; 3 Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain; 4 School of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, Madrid, Spain; 5 Centre for Sport Studies, Rey Juan Carlos University, Fuenlabrada, Madrid, Spain


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BACKGROUND: To describe the lower limb range of motion (ROM) profile in professional road cyclists.
METHODS: Cohort study. One hundred and twenty-one road cyclists volunteered to participate. ROM measurements of passive hip flexion, extension, internal rotation, external rotation, knee flexion and ankle dorsiflexion in dominant and non-dominant limbs were performed using an inclinometer. ROM scores were individually categorized as normal or restricted according to reference values.
RESULTS: Overall, hip flexion was smaller in the non-dominant limb than in the dominant limb (F=12.429, p<0.001), with bilateral differences in male (95% Mean Diff=0.5º to 3.3º) and female cyclists (95% Mean Diff=0.1º to 3.1º). Sex differences were found in hip flexion (F=18.346, p<0.001), hip internal rotation (F=6.030, p=0.016) and ankle dorsiflexion (F=4.363, p=0.039), with males showing smaller ROM than females. Males and females had restricted knee flexion in dominant (males=51.6%; females=42.6%) and non-dominant limbs (males=45.0%; females=39.3%). Ankle dorsiflexion was also restricted in dominant males=38.3%; females=31.1%) and nondominant limbs (males=41.6%; females=34.4%).
CONCLUSIONS: Elite road cyclists showed restricted lower-limb ROM according to reference values. In general, male cyclists showed lower values of ROM than females counterparts. These findings suggest that including specific stretching exercises and resistance training to improve knee and ankle dorsiflexion ROM may prevent muscle imbalances caused by chronic pedalling in professional cyclists.


KEY WORDS: Clinical examination; Injury prevention; Risk Factor; Flexibility

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