Motor Control and Motor Learning in Stretch-Shortening Cycle Movements

Authored by: Taube,1 Wolfgang , Leukel,1,2 Christian , Gollhofer2 Albert

Routledge Handbook of Motor Control and Motor Learning

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415669603
eBook ISBN: 9780203132746
Adobe ISBN: 9781136477942


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By definition, the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) describes a natural muscle function in which the pre-activated muscle–tendon complex is lengthened in the eccentric phase followed by muscle–tendon shortening in the concentric phase (Ishikawa & Komi, 2008; Komi & Gollhofer, 1997). Animal and human locomotion as well as many other movements, such as hopping and throwing, are organized in a SSC. Mechanically, the major advantage of the SSC compared to isolated concentric and eccentric muscle activation is considered to be the storage and subsequent release of kinetic energy leading to enhanced power and/or greater economy (Dietz et al., 1979; Gollhofer et al., 1992; Voigt et al., 1998b). The efficiency of the SSC is assumed to depend largely on the ability to transfer energy from the pre-activated and eccentrically stretched muscle–tendon complex to the concentric push-off phase (Bosco et al., 1981; Bosco & Komi, 1979). The elastic properties of the tendo-muscular system therefore greatly influence the efficiency of the SSC.

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