Neural modulation of muscle-tendon control strategy after a single practice session

Kuniaki Hirayama, Toshimasa Yanai, Hiroaki Kanehisa, Tetsuo Fukunaga, Yasuo Kawakami*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to examine a hypothesis that the musculotendinous behavior during a propelling action with a countermovement can be altered by a single practice session through modulation of neuromuscular activities. Methods: Eight males performed unilateral maximal plantarflexion with (CMJ) and without (noCMJ) countermovement before and after a practice consisting of six sets of three repetitions of unilateral CMJ exercises. Measurements included EMG activities of the triceps surae and tibialis anterior muscles and the fascicle behavior of the gastrocnemius by ultrasonography, and impulse was calculated from the force-time data. The change in tendon length was also estimated. Results: The impulse in CMJ increased after the practice, but that in noCMJ did not. After the practice, the magnitude of fascicle lengthening and shortening in CMJ decreased, which was accompanied by an increase in tendon shortening without change in the ankle joint range of motion. The time lag from the onset of reaction force to that of EMG activities of the triceps surae muscles was shortened after the practice. Conclusions: The results support the hypothesis and indicate that, as a neural modulation through a single practice, the muscle-tendon unit behavior during CMJ can be optimized to improve the performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1512-1518
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug


  • Stretchshortening cycle
  • muscle-tendon interaction
  • neural adaptation
  • performance improvement
  • ultrasonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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