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Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31822d757a
Applied Sciences

Optimal Force–Velocity Profile in Ballistic Movements—Altius

SAMOZINO, PIERRE1; REJC, ENRICO2; DI PRAMPERO, PIETRO ENRICO2; BELLI, ALAIN3; MORIN, JEAN-BENOÎT3

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Abstract

Purpose: The study’s purpose was to determine the respective influences of the maximal power (

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) and the force–velocity (Fv) mechanical profile of the lower limb neuromuscular system on performance in ballistic movements.

Methods: A theoretical integrative approach was proposed to express ballistic performance as a mathematical function of

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and Fv profile. This equation was (i) validated from experimental data obtained on 14 subjects during lower limb ballistic inclined push-offs and (ii) simulated to quantify the respective influence of

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and Fv profile on performance.

Results: The bias between performances predicted and obtained from experimental measurements was 4%–7%, confirming the validity of the proposed theoretical approach. Simulations showed that ballistic performance was mostly influenced not only by

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but also by the balance between force and velocity capabilities as described by the Fv profile. For each individual, there is an optimal Fv profile that maximizes performance, whereas unfavorable Fv balances lead to differences in performance up to 30% for a given

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. This optimal Fv profile, which can be accurately determined, depends on some individual characteristics (limb extension range,

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) and on the afterload involved in the movement (inertia, inclination). The lower the afterload, the more the optimal Fv profile is oriented toward velocity capabilities and the greater the limitation of performance imposed by the maximal velocity of lower limb extension.

Conclusions: High ballistic performances are determined by both maximization of the power output capabilities and optimization of the Fv mechanical profile of the lower limb neuromuscular system.

©2012The American College of Sports Medicine

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