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Comparison of ankle range of motion and functional performance between practitioners of resistance exercise with free-weight vs. Machine

MOJ Sports Medicine
Alex Souto Maior,1 Eduardo Lobo,2 Marcos Braz,2 José Carlos de Campos Jr,2 Gustavo Leporace3

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The purpose of this investigation was to compare ankle functional performance and ankle range of motion (ROM) between practitioners of resistance exercise (RE) with free-weights versus machines. Twenty-five men participated in this study. They were separated into two groups: (a) Free-weights; and (b) Machines. All subjects practiced regularly RE 5.3±0.7 d?wk-1 and low aerobic training of 1.2±0.5 d?wk-1 with a total time volume of 254.9±9.4 min?wk-1. ROM measurements were taken in both ankles with a digital goniometer. Active ankle-dorsiflexion and plantar flexion range of motion were measured with subjects lying prone with an extended knee on a standard treatment table. The rising on the heel and the rising on toes were used to assess endurance of the ankle dorsiflexor and plantar flexor muscles, respectively. Ankle functional stability was assessed with the Single Leg Hop Test in both limbs. Ankle-dorsiflexion ROM showed a significant difference (Δ% left=21.1%; Δ% right=25.8%; P<0.01) between the Machines Group when compared to the Freeweights Group. Rising on the heel and rising on the toes showed no significant differences between the 2 groups (i.e., free-weights versus machines) (P>0.05). On the other hand, the Single Leg Hop Test (Δ% left=16.3%; Δ% right=15.4%; P<0.05) and number of jumps (Δ% left=27.9 %; Δ% right=26.1 %; P<0.05) recorded were lower in the Free-weights Group compared to the Machines Group. This study found a greater ankle-dorsiflexion ROM and performance during the Single Leg Hop Test in practitioners of RE with free-weights, showing a better control of sagittal plane movements.


ankles, functional performance, range of motion, resistance training