Effects of passive muscle stiffness measured by Shear Wave Elastography, muscle thickness, and body mass index on athletic performance in adolescent female basketball players

Orkun Akkoc, Emine Caliskan, Zuhal Bayramoglu


Aims: Athletic performance in basketball comprises the contributions of anaerobic and aerobic performance. The aim was to investigate the effects of passive muscle stiffness, using shear wave elastography (SWE), as well as muscle thickness, and body mass index (BMI), on both aerobic and anaerobic performances in adolescent female basketball players.

Material and methods: Anaerobic and aerobic (VO2max) performance was assessed using the vertical jump and shuttle run tests, respectively, in 24 volunteer adolescent female basketball players. Passive muscle stiffness of the rectus femoris (RF), gastrocnemius medialis (GM), gastrocnemius lateralis (GL) and soleus muscles were measured by SWE, and the thickness of each muscle was assessed by gray scale ultrasound. The BMI of each participant was also calculated. The relationship between vertical jump and VO2max values, and those of muscle stiffness, thickness, and BMI were investigated via Pearson’s correlation and multivariate linear regression analysis.

Results: No significant correlation was observed between muscle stiffness and VO2max or vertical jump (p>0.05). There was significant negative correlation between GL thickness and VO2max (p=0.026), and soleus thickness and VO2max (p=0.046). There was also a significant negative correlation between BMI and VO2max (p=0.001). 

Conclusions: This preliminary work can be a reference for future research. Although our article indicates that passive muscle stiffness measured by SWE is not directly related to athletic performance, future comprehensive studies should be performed in order to illuminate the complex nature of muscles. The  maintenance of lower muscle thickness and optimal BMI may be associated with better aerobic performance.


Aerobic performance; anaerobic performance; muscle stiffness; muscle thickness; shear wave elastography

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11152/mu-1336


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