Quantitative Relationships Between Individual Lower-Limb Muscle Volumes and Jump and Sprint Performances of Basketball Players

Tianyuan Xie, Katherine B Crump, Renkun Ni, Craig H Meyer, Joseph M Hart, Silvia S Blemker, Xue Feng
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, March 2020

Researchers wanted to better understand what muscles could differentiate a recreational basketball player from an elite-level basketball player. Using the Springbok lower extremity analysis, individual muscle volumes were measured between varsity and club basketball players based on sport-specific tasks and revealed that relationships between muscle size and performance were not the same for recreational club players and NCAA Division I varsity players. Testing for basketball-specific tasks showed that the vastus medialis and semimembranosus are the most relevant muscles for jumping while adductor longus and vastus medialis were most correlated for sprinting. Muscle volume and performance were most strongly correlated for elite basketball players which could suggest a pattern of muscle volume distribution that may be the difference between a good basketball player and a great one.

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