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Effect of speed and gradient on plantar force when running on an AlterG® treadmill

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posted on 2022-11-22, 21:18 authored by Athol Thomson, Rodney Whiteley, Clint Hansen, Julius Welzel, Sebastien Racinais, Mathew G. Wilson

Background

Anti-gravity treadmills are used to decrease musculoskeletal loading during treadmill running often in return to play rehabilitation programs. The effect different gradients (uphill/downhill running) have on kinetics and spatiotemporal parameters when using an AlterG® treadmill is unclear with previous research focused on level running only.

Methods

Ten well-trained healthy male running athletes ran on the AlterG® treadmill at varying combinations of bodyweight support (60, 80, and 100% BW), speed (12 km/hr., 15 km/hr., 18 km/hr., 21 km/hr., and 24 km/hr), and gradients (− 15% decline, − 10, − 5, 0, + 5, + 10 + 15% incline), representing a total of 78 conditions performed in random order. Maximum plantar force and contact time were recorded using a wireless in-shoe force sensor insole system.

Results

Regression analysis showed a linear relationship for maximum plantar force with bodyweight support and running speeds for level running (p < 0.0001, adj. R2 = 0.604). The linear relationship, however, does not hold for negative gradients at speeds 12 & 15 km/h, with a relative ‘dip’ in maximum plantar force across all assisted bodyweight settings.

Conclusions

Maximum plantar force peaks are larger with faster running and smaller with more AlterG® assisted bodyweight support (athlete unweighing). Gradient made little difference except for a downhill grade of − 5% decreasing force peaks as compared to level or uphill running.

Other Information

Published in: BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
See article on publisher's website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13102-021-00258-4

History

Language

  • English

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Publication Year

  • 2021

Institution affiliated with

  • Aspetar - Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital

Methodology

Ten well-trained healthy male running athletes ran on the AlterG® treadmill at varying combinations of bodyweight support (60, 80, and 100% BW), speed (12 km/hr., 15 km/hr., 18 km/hr., 21 km/hr., and 24 km/hr), and gradients (− 15% decline, − 10, − 5, 0, + 5, + 10 + 15% incline), representing a total of 78 conditions performed in random order. Maximum plantar force and contact time were recorded using a wireless in-shoe force sensor insole system.

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