The Royal Society

Supplementary material from "Relation between soft tissue energy dissipation and leg stiffness in running at different step frequencies"

Posted on 2024-06-03 - 15:46
This study aims to investigate the relationship between soft tissue energy dissipation and leg stiffness during running. Eight recreational healthy male runners (age: 22.2 ± 1.0 years; height: 1.84 ± 0.03 m; mass: 73.7 ± 5.7 kg) were asked to run at different speeds and step frequencies. Their soft tissue energy dissipation was estimated by the difference between the total mechanical work of the body, measured as the work done to move the body centre of mass relative to the surroundings plus the work to move the limbs relative to the body centre of mass, and lower-limb joint work. A mass-spring model with an actuator was used to analyze the force-length curve of the bouncing mechanism of running. In this way, the stiffness and damping coefficient were assessed at each speed and step frequency. Pearson's correlations were used to describe the relationship between the deviation from the spring-mass model and soft tissue energy fluctuations. The soft tissue dissipation was found to be significantly influenced by step frequency, with both positive and negative work phases decreasing when step frequency increases. Moreover, deviation from a spring-mass model was positively associated with the amount of soft tissue dissipation (r > 0.6). The findings emphasize the substantial role of soft tissues in dissipating or returning energy during running, behaving in a damped-elastic manner. Also, we introduce a novel approach for evaluating the elastic rebound of the body during running. The insights gained may have broad implications for assessing running mechanics, with potential applications in various contexts.


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Royal Society Open Science


Arthur H Dewolf
André Ivaniski-Mello
Leonardo Alexandre Peyré-Tartaruga
Raphael M. Mesquita
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