Prophylactic ankle taping (PAT) is commonly used in sport. PAT may restrict ankle motion, which would affect the kinetic chain and alter gait. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of PAT on lower extremity (LE) kinematics and running economy (RE) during treadmill running. Twelve recreational runners (9 females, 3 males; M+/-SD age = 31.33+/-8.04 years, height = 1.67+/-0. 81 m, mass = 61.84+/-9.38 kg) completed two 20-min running sessions (PAT and no tape: CON) at a self-selected pace. Prior to each run, reflective markers were placed along the right side of the body. Sagittal plane kinematic data (60 Hz) were captured four times and expired gases were measured for 2-min following each video capture during both trials. Stride frequency, stride length, LE kinematic variables at initial contact (IC) and end contact (EC) were calculated. Cardiorespiratory variables and heart rate (HR) were also measured. RE was normalized to oxygen uptake per unit body mass per km (ml.kg-1.km-1) as running speeds varied. At EC the PAT hip angle significantly decreased (P = .01) by 3.82[degrees]; whereas CON decreased by 0.85[degrees]. ROM tended to decrease over the 20-min run (P = .08). HR significantly increased over time (6.7%); but was not different between conditions. PAT did not significantly affect the physiological measures associated with the metabolic cost of treadmill running or the other kinematic variables. These findings suggest the hip angle continued to decrease during the PAT condition at push-off in recreational runners without impacting the metabolic cost of transport.
Copyright (C) 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.