I was reading the article Speed Play in Techniques magazine Volume 15, number 3 (February 2022) and encountered the following quote:

This explositivity is underpinned by a collection of neuromuscular factors including, but not limited to motor-unit typing, intra- and inter-muscular coordination, rate-coding and neural drive, whic hcollectively work to actualize sprint-movement characteristics. Because of their role in rate and magnitude of force development, these neuromuscular factors serve as prerequisites for proper mechanical actions within critical time frames. For example, sprinters who initiate GC with a stance phase that is more proximal to the center of mass at top-speed are more likely to conserve energy and prioritize elastic behavior through the SSC, a rapid and forceful lengthening of muscle-tendon complex followed by an immediate shortening or contraction (Komi, 2008).

What, exactly, are GC and SSC in this context?

  • I'm not sure I see how this is about a specific competitive sport, as opposed to general biomechanics. Can you provide some indication as to why this counts either way?
    – Nij
    Feb 16, 2022 at 5:29
  • @Nij Techniques is the (a) official magazine of the US Track and Field coaches association, so it seems to at least be aimed at competitive athletes. While this may well be a better fit with Physical Fitness, it's probably okay here.
    – Joe
    Feb 16, 2022 at 9:11
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    @Nij I think it's a reasonable question as the article is about sprinting and EJoshuaS is trying to understand it; it answer could be "these are standard biomechanics terms, here's a brief definition". (I'd say the editor at the magazine should have ensured they were defined in the article, but that's a different question entirely...)
    – Philip Kendall
    Feb 16, 2022 at 9:13

1 Answer 1


SSC is the Stretch Shortening Cycle. Imagine a spring being compressed before it pops up - that's the SSC phase.

Per Philip Kendall, GC most likely stands for Gait Cycle.

  • Not going to write a separate half-answer but GC is almost certainly Gait Cycle in this context.
    – Philip Kendall
    Feb 16, 2022 at 9:30
  • Hmm, you're probably right (though it's pretty similar to ground contact, so at least my intuition was close!). I'll add it to the answer if you don't mind. Annoyed that it didn't come up with a fair amount of research into SSC, which is the easier of the two acronyms to search for...
    – Joe
    Feb 16, 2022 at 9:31
  • Absolutely add it! For what it's worth... gc biomechanics
    – Philip Kendall
    Feb 16, 2022 at 9:47
  • Yeah, that makes more sense, the problem I ran into was there's a common author on SSC-related papers whose initials are, wait for it, GC... so that dominated the papers, and for whatever reason SSC papers usually don't talk about GC (even the paper they linked in the article didn't!).
    – Joe
    Feb 16, 2022 at 10:21
  • One could also point out that SSC is defined in the question - the entire sentence following its only mention.
    – Nij
    Feb 17, 2022 at 1:28

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