Abstract: The purpose of this study was to establish if vertical stiffness was greater in professional Australian rules footballers who sustained a lower limb skeletal muscle strain compared to those who did not, and to establish if a relationship between age, or training history, and vertical stiffness existed. Thirty-one participants underwent weekly rebound jump testing on a force platform over two seasons. Vertical stiffness was calculated for injured players and the uninjured cohort 1 and 3 weeks prior to sustaining an injury and at the end of preseason. Eighteen athletes were in the “uninjured” cohort and 13 in the “injured” cohort. No significant difference in vertical stiffness was observed between groups (P = 0.18 for absolute stiffness; P = 0.08 for stiffness relative to body mass), within groups (P = 0.83 and P = 0.88, respectively) or for a time*cohort interaction (P = 0.77 and P = 0.80, respectively). No relationship between age and vertical stiffness existed (r = -0.06 for absolute and relative stiffness), or training history and vertical stiffness (r = -0.01 and 0.00 for absolute and relative stiffness, respectively) existed. These results and others lend to suggest that vertical stiffness is not related to lower limb muscle strain injury.
Serpell, B., SCARVELL, J., BALL, N., & Smith, P. (2014). Vertical stiffness and muscle strain in professional Australian football. Journal of Sports Sciences, 32(20), 1924-1930. https://doi.org/10.1080/02640414.2014.942681