Achilles Tendon Length Is Not Related to 100-m Sprint Time in Sprinters

J Appl Biomech. 2020 Nov 10;37(1):30-35. doi: 10.1123/jab.2020-0125.

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between Achilles tendon (AT) length and 100-m sprint time in sprinters. The AT lengths at 3 different portions of the triceps surae muscle in 48 well-trained sprinters were measured using magnetic resonance imaging. The 3 AT lengths were calculated as the distance from the calcaneal tuberosity to the muscle-tendon junction of the soleus, gastrocnemius medialis, and gastrocnemius lateralis, respectively. The absolute 3 AT lengths did not correlate significantly with personal best 100-m sprint time (r = -.023 to .064, all Ps > .05). Furthermore, to minimize the differences in the leg length among participants, the 3 AT lengths were normalized to the shank length, and the relative 3 AT lengths did not correlate significantly with personal best 100-m sprint time (r = .023 to .102, all Ps > .05). Additionally, no significant correlations were observed between the absolute and relative (normalized to body mass) cross-sectional areas of the AT and personal best 100-m sprint time (r = .012 and .084, respectively, both Ps > .05). These findings suggest that the AT morphological variables, including the length, may not be related to superior 100-m sprint time in sprinters.

Keywords: ankle joint; magnetic resonance imaging; stiffness; stretch-shortening cycle; tendon cross-sectional area; triceps surae muscle.

MeSH terms

  • Achilles Tendon / anatomy & histology*
  • Achilles Tendon / diagnostic imaging
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Calcaneus
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / diagnostic imaging
  • Running / physiology*
  • Young Adult