The effect of fatigue on sprint acceleration kinematics in male Gaelic football players

Abstract

Gaelic football (GF) is a high intensity field sport that requires athletes to regularly perform sprint accelerations succeeding tackles which become very demanding. We aimed to determine how fatigue post-training would affect sprint kinematics. Using a mixed methods design, 2D sagittal plane. kinematics were analysed pre and post an intense training session. Eighteen senior male GF’s completed 10 m sprint acceleration’s before (pre-fatigue) and after (post-fatigue). Paired samples t-tests were used to compare 10 m sprint acceleration velocity, first and third step hip and knee touch down (flexion) and toe-off (extension) angles during stance, hip and knee joint angular velocity during stance and contact times (CT). Participants were split into two groups based on their mean velocity score; fast (FG, n = 9) or slow (SG, n = 9). A two-way MANOVA was performed to determine if any differences existed between groups and time on kinematic variables. Paired samples t-test revealed a significant decrease in mean velocity p = 0.007. Time dependent decreases were observed between first step knee angular velocity p = 0.027, and third step hip angular velocity p = 0.006. The MANOVA revealed a significant difference between groups for mean velocity pre-fatigue p = < 0.001 and post-fatigue p = 0.014. Knee flexion during step 1 post-fatigue was closer to full extension for FG p = 0.01 and ground contact times were significantly faster for the FG during step 3 pre-fatigue p = < 0.001. Fatigue influenced sprint acceleration kinematics, resulting in decreased sprint acceleration velocity, joint angular velocities and increased CT, which was likely due to suppressed voluntary contraction along with excitation-contraction coupling due to stretch shortening cycle fatigue.

Screenshot of UKSCA presentation

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