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Effects of In-Season Inertial Resistance Training With Eccentric Overload in a Sports Population at Risk for Patellar Tendinopathy

Gual, Gabriel; Fort-Vanmeerhaeghe, Azahara; Romero-Rodríguez, Daniel; Tesch, Per A.

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 7 - p 1834–1842
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001286
Original Research

Abstract: Gual, G, Fort-Vanmeerhaeghe, A, Romero-Rodríguez, D, and Tesch, PA. Effects of in-season inertial resistance training with eccentric overload in a sports population at risk for patellar tendinopathy. J Strength Cond Res 30(7): 1834–1842, 2016—Volleyball and basketball players can be considered as a population at risk for patellar tendinopathy. Given the paradox that eccentric training elicits therapeutic benefits yet might provoke such injury, we investigated the influence of a weekly bout of inertial squat resistance exercise offering eccentric overload on lower limb muscle power and patellar tendon complaints. Players of 8 (4 basketball and 4 volleyball) teams (38 women and 43 men) were randomly assigned to either the intervention (IG) or control (CG) group. Although IG and CG maintained scheduled in-season training routines over 24 weeks, IG, in addition, performed 1 weekly session of eccentric overload by 4 sets of 8 repetitions of the squat using flywheel inertial resistance. Victorian Institute of Sports Assessment patellar tendinopathy questionnaire (VISA-p), vertical countermovement jump, and squat power, both concentric (Squat-Con) and eccentric (Squat-Ecc), tests were performed before (T1), during (T2), and after (T3) the 24 weeks of intervention. Neither group suffered from patellar tendinopathy during the study period. VISA-p displayed no differences across groups at any measurement period. Countermovement jump scores significantly (p ≤ 0.05) differed between groups in favor of the IG. Both Squat-Con and Squat-Ecc mean scores from the IG were significantly (p < 0.01) higher than the CG. Adding a weekly eccentric overload squat training bout to a regular basketball and volleyball exercise routine enhances lower limb muscle power without triggering patellar tendon complaints. Future studies, using the current exercise paradigm, aim to explore its efficacy to prevent or combat patellar tendinopathy in sports calling for frequent explosive jumps.

1Department of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain;

2Department of Physical Therapy, Research Group on Evidence, Lifestyles and Health, University of the Balearic Islands, Palma, Spain;

3EUSES Health and Sport Sciences School, University of Girona, Girona, Spain;

4FPCEE Blanquerna, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain;

5ReSport Clinic, Barcelona, Spain; and

6Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Address correspondence to Gabriel Gual, gabrielgual@gmail.com.

Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.