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Neil Chapman, John William Whitting, Suzanne Broadbent, Zachary Crowley-McHattan, and Rudi Meir

Hamstring strain injuries are common in sport. Supramaximal eccentric or high-intensity isometric contractions are favored in hamstring strain injury prevention. The effect of combining these contraction modes in such prevention programs as a poststretch isometric contraction is unknown. Poststretch isometric contractions incorporate an active stretch and result in greater final isometric force than isometric contractions at comparable joint angles. This study compared torque and muscle activation levels between maximal voluntary isometric contraction and maximal poststretch isometric contractions of the knee flexors. Participants (n = 9) completed baseline maximal voluntary isometric contraction at 150° knee flexion and maximal poststretch isometric contractions at 120° knee flexion actively stretching at 60°/s to 150° knee flexion for final isometric contraction. Torque of the knee flexors and surface electromyography root mean square (sEMGRMS) of biceps femoris long head were simultaneously recorded and compared between baseline and poststretch isometric at 150° knee flexion. Torque was 14% greater in the poststretch isometric condition compared with baseline maximal voluntary isometric contraction (42.45 [20.75] N·m, 14% [22.18%], P < .001) without increase in sEMGRMS of biceps femoris long head (−.03 mV, ±.06, P = .130, d = .93). Poststretch isometric contractions resulted in supramaximal levels of poststretch isometric torque without increased activation of biceps femoris long head.

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David R. Howell, Corrine N. Seehusen, Mathew J. Wingerson, Julie C. Wilson, Robert C. Lynall, and Vipul Lugade

Our purpose was to investigate the reliability and minimal detectable change characteristics of a smartphone-based assessment of single- and dual-task gait and cognitive performance. Uninjured adolescent athletes (n = 17; mean age = 16.6, SD = 1.3 y; 47% female) completed assessments initially and again 4 weeks later. The authors collected data via an automated smartphone-based application while participants completed a series of tasks under (1) single-task cognitive, (2) single-task gait, and (3) dual-task cognitive-gait conditions. The cognitive task was a series of continuous auditory Stroop cues. Average gait speed was consistent between testing sessions in single-task (0.98, SD = 0.21 vs 0.96, SD = 0.19 m/s; P = .60; r = .89) and dual-task (0.92, SD = 0.22 vs 0.89, SD = 0.22 m/s; P = .37; r = .88) conditions. Response accuracy was moderately consistent between assessments in single-task standing (82.3% accurate, SD = 17.9% vs 84.6% accurate, SD = 20.1%; P = .64; r = .52) and dual-task gait (89.4% accurate, SD = 15.9% vs 85.8% accurate, SD = 20.2%; P = .23; r = .81) conditions. Our results indicate automated motor-cognitive dual-task outcomes obtained within a smartphone-based assessment are consistent across a 1-month period. Further research is required to understand how this assessment performs in the setting of sport-related concussion. Given the relative reliability of values obtained, a smartphone-based evaluation may be considered for use to evaluate changes across time among adolescents, postconcussion.

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John R. Harry, John Krzyszkowski, Luke D. Chowning, and Kristof Kipp

This study sought to identify potential predictors of standing long jump (SLJ) performance using force–time strategy metrics within the unloading, eccentric yielding, eccentric braking, and concentric phases. Fifteen National Collegiate Athletic Association division 1 male soccer players (19 [1] y, 1.81 [0.94] m, 80.3 [22.4] kg) performed 3 maximum-effort SLJs, while 3-dimensional ground reaction force (GRF) data were obtained. Regularized regression models were used to investigate associations between force–time strategy metrics and 2 metrics of SLJ performance (ie, jump distance and modified reactive strength index). Jump height and eccentric yielding time were the only predictors of jump distance that also demonstrated large correlations to jump distance. Anterior–posterior unloading yank, average concentric vertical force, and concentric phase duration were the only predictors of modified reactive strength index that also demonstrated large correlations to modified reactive strength index. To maximize SLJ distance in high-level soccer athletes, human performance practitioners could design interventions to drive changes in strategy to increase jump height and decrease eccentric yielding time. To improve SLJ explosiveness, interventions to drive changes in unloading and concentric force application and decrease concentric time could be emphasized. Importantly, unique variable combinations can be targeted when training for SLJ distance and explosiveness adaptations.

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Michelle A. Sandrey

Abstract: Postural distortions in the upper limb are prevalent and change the anatomical alignment, which alters force couples and the biomechanics of the body. Forward head posture (FHP) and rounded shoulder posture (RSP) are the two that are most prevalent. Measurement techniques using the craniovertebral angle for FHP and forward shoulder angle for RSP have been used both clinically and in the literature. However, what is not known is what specific criteria can be consistently used to define FHP and RSP as reference angles lack vigorous validity and there is a shortage of quantity, quality, and consistency of the evidence. Thus, there is much to be learned about postural classifications and the effect on the kinetic chain, supporting the need for further research in this area. As it is important to classify those who may need exercise and therapeutic intervention, following evidence-informed practice to inform decision-making clinicians should continue to evaluate posture, as well as examine scapular kinematics and muscle activity and the effects of interventions to improve posture. Therefore, determining whether FHP and RSP are present is paramount for the treatment to be successful.

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Seyed Abolfazl Tohidast, Rasool Bagheri, Ziaeddin Safavi-Farokhi, Mohammad Khaleghi Hashemian, and Cyrus Taghizadeh Delkhosh

Context: Chronic ankle instability (CAI) is a common problem associated with impaired postural stability. Whole-body vibration (WBV) has been developed to improve muscle function and reportedly improves postural stability. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of 12 sessions of WBV on postural control during standing postural task in participants with CAI. Design: A controlled clinical trial study. Methods: Sixteen participants with CAI and 16 healthy participants aged between 20 and 40 years included in this study. They received WBV (30-Hz frequency, 3 series of four 45-s exercises with a 45-s rest) for a total of 12 sessions, 2 session per week for 6 weeks. Postural control was assessed by center of pressure (COP) parameters, including mean and SD in the anterior–posterior and medial–lateral displacement during single-leg standing. Assessments were done before and immediately after the first session and after the 12th session of WBV, with opened and closed eyes associated with easy and difficult cognitive tasks. Results: The results showed that the SD of COP displacement in the x-axis was significant in eyes opened and SD of COP displacement in the x- and y-axes were significant between groups in the eyes-opened, and eyes-closed conditions (P < .05). Analysis of variance indicated that the effect of WBV training was significant for the mean of COP displacement in the y-axis. Post hoc indicated that the effect of 12 sessions of WBV on the mean of COP displacement was significant in the CAI group (P < .05). However, the acute effect of WBV was not significant on the COP displacement in all axes (P > .05). Conclusion: Higher postural sway associated with postural cognitive interactions might be considered in the rehabilitation of CAI. Twelve sessions of WBV might induce some improvement in postural control with the method of WBV used in this study.

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Julie R. Steele