A1 Journal article (refereed)
Muscle‐tendon morphology and function following long‐term exposure to repeated and strenuous mechanical loading (2020)

Bissas, A., Havenetidis, K., Walker, J., Hanley, B., Nicholson, G., Metaxas, T., Christoulas, K., & Cronin, N. J. (2020). Muscle‐tendon morphology and function following long‐term exposure to repeated and strenuous mechanical loading. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 30(7), 1151-1162. https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.13669

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Bissas, Athanassios; Havenetidis, Konstantinos; Walker, Josh; Hanley, Brian; Nicholson, Gareth; Metaxas, Thomas; Christoulas, Kosmas; Cronin, Neil J.

Journal or series: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports

ISSN: 0905-7188

eISSN: 1600-0838

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 30

Issue number: 7

Pages range: 1151-1162

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.13669

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Partially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/68462


We mapped structural and functional characteristics of muscle‐tendon units in a population exposed to very long‐term routine overloading. Twenty‐eight military academy cadets (age: 21.00 ± 1.1 yrs; height: 176.1 ± 4.8 cm; mass: 73.8 ± 7.0 kg) exposed for over 24 months to repetitive overloading were profiled via ultrasonography with a senior subgroup of them (n = 11; age = 21.4 ± 1.0 yrs; height = 176.5 ± 4.8 cm; mass = 71.4 ± 6.6 kg) also tested while walking and marching on a treadmill. A group of eleven ethnicity‐ and aged‐matched civilians (age = 21.6 ± 0.7 yrs; height = 176.8 ± 4.3 cm; mass = 74.6 ± 5.6 kg) was also profiled and tested. Cadets and civilians exhibited similar morphology (muscle and tendon thickness and cross‐sectional area, pennation angle, fascicle length) in 26 out of 29 sites including the Achilles tendon. However, patellar tendon thickness along the entire tendon was greater (p<0.05) by a mean of 16% for the senior cadets compared with civilians. Dynamically, cadets showed significantly smaller ranges of fascicle length change and lower shortening velocity in medial gastrocnemius during walking (44.0% and 47.6%, p<0.05 ‐ 0.01) and marching (27.5% and 34.3%, p<0.05 ‐ 0.01) than civilians. Furthermore, cadets showed lower normalised soleus electrical activity during walking (22.7%, p<0.05) and marching (27.0%, p<0.05). Therefore, 24‐36 months of continuous overloading, primarily occurring under aerobic conditions, leads to more efficient neural and mechanical behaviour in the triceps surae complex, without any major macroscopic alterations in key anatomical structures.

Keywords: biomechanics; muscles; fasciae; tendons; strain; overloading; neuromuscular activity

Free keywords: fascicle mechanics; marching; medial gastrocnemius; overloading; patellar tendon; triceps surae; ultrasound

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2021-17-09 at 16:16