The Influence of Time-dependent Surface Properties on Sprint Running Performance between Male and Female Athletes

Michael Hales, John David Johnson


Background: The body of research on field based player-surface interaction consists of some contradictory findings and the comparison of male and female physiological responses on different surfaces is limited. Objective: The study investigates the influence of surface properties on sprint running before and after completing a muscle fatiguing intervention. Methodology: Muscle activity was recorded using surface electromyography (EMG). The vastus medialis (VM), biceps femoris (BF), medial head of the gastrocnemius (MG), and the tibialis anterior (TA) sites were selected for analysis. The mechanical properties (MPs) of each field were shown to be different using ASTM F-3189 protocol. Results: A statistically significant three-way repeated measures ANOVA interaction between field properties, sprint trial and muscle groups was determined, F(3,36) = 10.82, p = .006, ηρ2 = .474. Further analyses revealed an interaction effect between field properties and sprint trial, F(1,12) = 26.57, p = .001, ηρ2 = .689, between muscle groups and field properties F(1,12) = 8.78, p = .012, ηρ2 = .422 and between muscle group and sprint trial F(1,12) = 7.29, p = .019, ηρ2 = .378. In addition, pre-intervention mean sprint time was less on the field possessing more energy return by 9.1%. Post-intervention sprint test results show a significant difference for BF peak muscle activity on the field displaying greater force attenuation. Conclusion: Both pre and post intervention sprint results suggest time-dependent properties associated with a sport field could potentially influence muscle activation patterns differently for males and females.


Surface Properties, Surface Electromyography, Running, Athletes, Hamstring Muscles, Quadriceps Muscles

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