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A Split-Step Shortens the Time to Perform a Choice Reaction Step-and-Reach Movement in a Simulated Tennis Task

Submitted by: Maarten Moen

Uzu R, Shinya M, Oda S. J Sports Sci 2009; 4: 1-8

J Sports Sci. 2009 Oct;27(12):1233-40. doi: 10.1080/02640410903233222.


It is known that that a shorter interval between stretching and shortening of a muscle results in greater muscle work. In practice, this was already shown in studies where participants jumped higher in a countermovement jump

compared to a squat jump.

Research question/s:

Does a split-step increase the velocity of a lateral step towards a target compared to stepping without a split-step?


Subjects: Ten male Japanese collegiate tennis players participated in the study.

Experimental procedure: The participant stood barefoot on two force platforms facing two LED’s. The LED’s simultaneously blinked three times at a 3-s interval. After this, one of the two LED’s blinked to direct a participant to a step board either on the left or on the right. The experiment was performed in two conditions. In one condition (no-split condition) the participant performed no preparatory motions, in the second condition the participant performed a

vertical hop at a self selected time (split condition).

Measure of outcome: The total time to reach the step board (total reaction time) and time from activation of direction signal to initiation of lateral step (reaction time) (in ms) were measured.

Main finding/s:

Graph: The total reaction time and response time in the split and no-split condition.


The participants increased their velocity of lateral stepping by performing a split-step.

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