The aim of this study was to examine the influence of a short-term electromyostimulation (EMS) training program on the strength of knee extensors, skating, and vertical jump performance of a group of ice hockey players.
Seventeen ice hockey players participated in this study, with nine in the electrostimulated group (ES) and the remaining height as controls (C). EMS sessions consisted of 30 contractions (4-s duration, 85 Hz) and were carried out 3x wk for 3 wk. Isokinetic strength of the knee extensor muscles was determined with a Biodex dynamometer at different eccentric and concentric angular velocities (angular velocities ranging from -120 to 300 degrees .s). Jumping ability was evaluated during squat jump (SJ), countermovement jump (CMJ), drop jump (DJ), and 15 consecutive CMJ (15J). Sprint times for 10- and 30-m skates in specific conditions were measured using an infrared photoelectric system.
After 3 wk of EMS training, isokinetic torque increased significantly (P<0.05) for ES group in eccentric (-120 and -60 degrees .s) and concentric conditions (60 and 300 degrees .s), whereas vertical jump height decreased significantly (P<0.05) for SJ (-2.9+/-2.4 cm), CMJ (-2.1+/-2.0 cm), and DJ (-1.3+/-1.1 cm). The 10-m skating performance was significantly improved (from 2.18+/-0.20 to 2.07+/-0.09 s, before and after the 3-wk EMS period, respectively; P<0.05).
It was demonstrated that an EMS program of the knee extensors significantly enhanced isokinetic strength (eccentric and for two concentric velocities) and short skating performance of a group of ice hockey players.
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