Effect of speed on local dynamic stability of locomotion under different task constraints in running


© 2014, © 2014 European College of Sport Science. Abstract: A number of studies have investigated effects of speed on local dynamic stability of walking, although this relationship has been rarely investigated under changing task constraints, such as during forward and backward running. To rectify this gap in the literature, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of running speed on local dynamic stability of forward and backward running on a treadmill. Fifteen healthy male participants took part in this study. Participants ran in forward and backward directions at speeds of 80%, 100% and 120% of their preferred running speed. The three-dimensional motion of a C7 marker was recorded using a motion capture system. Local dynamic stability of the marker was quantified using short- and long-term largest finite-time Lyapunov exponents (LyE). Results showed that short-term largest finite-time LyE values increased with participant speed meaning that local dynamic stability decreased with increasing speed. Long-term largest finite-time LyEs, however, remained unaffected as speed increased. Results of this study indicated that, as in walking, slow running is more stable than fast running. These findings improve understanding of how stability is regulated when constraints on the speed of movements is altered. Implications for the design of rehabilitation or sport practice programmes suggest how task constraints could be manipulated to facilitate adaptations in locomotion stability during athletic training.

European Journal of Sport Science