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The Well-Being of Elite Volleyball Athletes: A Scoping Review of Methods Using Wellness Questionnaires

André Rebelo, João R. Pereira, Diogo V. Martinho, and João Valente-dos-Santos

The purpose of the current review was to systematically and critically evaluate the subjective methods used to evaluate well-being of elite volleyball athletes. According to the results of this scoping review, there is a lack of comprehensive well-being assessment within the volleyball literature as the questionnaires used with these athletes primarily focus on stress, recovery, mood states, and anxiety. While general well-being measures can provide valuable insights, there is a need for measures that consider the unique experiences, challenges, and contexts of athletes. Also, there is an inconsistent definition of well-being in the volleyball literature. This can lead to a piecemeal approach, where different aspects of well-being are assessed in isolation, without a clear understanding of how they fit together. Therefore, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of volleyball athletes’ well-being, it is important to incorporate measures that assess subjective, psychological, and social well-being. In conclusion, while current assessment tools provide important insights into volleyball athletes’ well-being, there is a clear need for more holistic and sport-specific measures. By expanding an understanding and assessment of well-being, there can be better support for athletes’ overall health, satisfaction, and performance.

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A Digital Twin Framework for Precision Neuromusculoskeletal Health Care: Extension Upon Industrial Standards

David J. Saxby, Claudio Pizzolato, and Laura E. Diamond

There is a powerful global trend toward deeper integration of digital twins into modern life driven by Industry 4.0 and 5.0. Defense, agriculture, engineering, manufacturing, and urban planning sectors have thoroughly incorporated digital twins to great benefit across their respective product lifecycles. Despite clear benefits, a digital twin framework for health and medical sectors is yet to emerge. This paper proposes a digital twin framework for precision neuromusculoskeletal health care. We build upon the International Standards Organization framework for digital twins for manufacturing by presenting best available computational models within a digital twin framework for clinical application. We map a use case for modeling Achilles tendon mechanobiology, highlighting how current modeling practices align with our proposed digital twin framework. Similarly, we map a use case for advanced neurorehabilitation technology, highlighting the role of a digital twin in control of systems where human and machine are interfaced. Future work must now focus on creating an informatic representation to govern how digital data are passed to, from, and within the digital twin, as well as specific standards to declare which measurement systems and modeling methods are acceptable to move toward widespread use of the digital twin framework for precision neuromusculoskeletal health care.

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The Effect of the Nordic Hamstring Exercise on Muscle Activity: A Multichannel Electromyography Randomized Controlled Trial

Jozef J.M. Suskens, Huub Maas, Jaap H. van Dieën, Gino M.M.J. Kerkhoffs, Edwin A. Goedhart, Johannes L. Tol, and Gustaaf Reurink

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a Nordic hamstring exercise intervention on biceps femoris long head, semitendinosus, and semimembranosus muscle’s activity and relative contributions through multichannel electromyography. Twenty-four injury-free male basketball players (mean age 20 [3] y) were randomly assigned to a 12-week intervention (n = 13) or control group (n = 11). The primary outcome measures were normalized muscle activity (percentage of maximal voluntary isometric contraction, %MVIC) and relative contribution of hamstring muscles over 12 weeks. No effects were found on any of the primary outcome measures. Between-group differences over 12 weeks were 2.7%MVIC (95% confidence interval 95% CI, −0.7 to 6.1) for the biceps femoris long head, 3.4%MVIC (95% CI, −1.4 to 8.2) for the semitendinosus, and 0.8%MVIC (95% CI, −3.0 to 4.6) for the semimembranosus, P = .366. Between-group differences over 12 weeks were 1.0% relative contribution (%con; 95% CI, −3.0 to 5.1) for the biceps femoris long head, 2.2% relative contribution (95% CI, −2.8 to 7.2) for the semitendinosus, and −3.3% relative contribution (95% CI, −6.4 to −0.1) for the semimembranosus P = .258. A positive value implies a higher value for the Nordic group. A Nordic hamstring exercise intervention did not affect the level of muscle activity and relative contribution of hamstring muscles in performance of the Nordic hamstring exercise.

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Structure and Organization of Sport for People With Intellectual Disabilities Across Europe

Adriana Marin-Urquiza, Jan Burns, Natalia Morgulec-Adamowicz, and Debbie Van Biesen

Opportunities to participate and compete in sports for athletes with intellectual disability (ID) have increased; however, this group still encounters limitations in accessing a comprehensive range of sports. This study addressed the current knowledge on how sport for people with ID is organized and the relationships between the major sport organizations for people with ID across 10 European countries. The participants were 29 national sport organizations for people with ID. Data were collected using semistructured interviews with representatives from the key organizations and analyzed thematically. From the results, two major themes emerged: (a) connection and networking between sport organizations and (b) organizational landscape of each nation (i.e., ID, multidisability, or mainstream). The results of this study contribute to understanding how sport for people with ID is organized across the participating nations, demonstrating different models of development and examples of good practice.

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Collegiate Athletes’ Perceptions of the Connection Between Mental Health and Sport Performance: A Qualitative Investigation

Kelzie E. Beebe, Trent A. Petrie, Heather R. Kiefer, Lindsey E. Slavin, and Macey L. Arnold

Prevalence of mental health (MH) concerns among young adults is high and continues to increase. As a specific subset of young adults, National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) athletes seem to experience these concerns at a similar or greater prevalence rate than their nonathlete, age-matched peers. Yet, how MH affects sport performance has not been robustly studied, and existing studies have not included the diversity of identities present in the collegiate athlete population. Thus, via online survey, this study explored the beliefs of 249 collegiate athletes representing diverse identities and sports regarding how MH affects sport performance. Regardless of demographic variable, 96.4%–100.0% of participants believed that MH affects sport performance. Three themes were identified: (a) collegiate athletes affirm that MH affects sport performance, (b) collegiate athletes’ perceptions of how MH affects sport performance, and (c) collegiate athletes believe that being a collegiate athlete exacerbates their MH concerns. The universality of endorsement and the themes represent novel findings that warrant further exploration of the MH–sport performance connection.

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Predicting Gait Patterns of Children With Spasticity by Simulating Hyperreflexia

Kirsten Veerkamp, Christopher P. Carty, Niels F.J. Waterval, Thomas Geijtenbeek, Annemieke I. Buizer, David G. Lloyd, Jaap Harlaar, and Marjolein M. van der Krogt

Spasticity is a common impairment within pediatric neuromusculoskeletal disorders. How spasticity contributes to gait deviations is important for treatment selection. Our aim was to evaluate the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying gait deviations seen in children with spasticity, using predictive simulations. A cluster analysis was performed to extract distinct gait patterns from experimental gait data of 17 children with spasticity to be used as comparative validation data. A forward dynamic simulation framework was employed to predict gait with either velocity- or force-based hyperreflexia. This framework entailed a generic musculoskeletal model controlled by reflexes and supraspinal drive, governed by a multiobjective cost function. Hyperreflexia values were optimized to enable the simulated gait to best match experimental gait patterns. Three experimental gait patterns were extracted: (1) increased knee flexion, (2) increased ankle plantar flexion, and (3) increased knee flexion and ankle plantar flexion when compared with typical gait. Overall, velocity-based hyperreflexia outperformed force-based hyperreflexia. The first gait pattern could mostly be explained by rectus femoris and hamstrings velocity-based hyperreflexia, the second by gastrocnemius velocity-based hyperreflexia, and the third by gastrocnemius, soleus, and hamstrings velocity-based hyperreflexia. This study shows how velocity-based hyperreflexia from specific muscles contributes to different spastic gait patterns, which may help in providing targeted treatment.

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Volume 39 (2023): Issue 4 (Aug 2023)

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Rating of Perceived Exertion in the First Repetition is Related to the Total Repetitions Performed in Elastic Bands Training

Juan C. Colado, Javier Gené-Morales, Pablo Jiménez-Martínez, Jorge Flandez, Ana María Ferri-Caruana, and Carlos Babiloni-Lopez

Several devices (e.g., linear transducers) have been used for predicting resistance training intensity. However, subjective scales, such as rating of perceived exertion (RPE), are proposed as reliable and easier-to-use tools for monitoring intensity during resistance training. Accordingly, different perceptive scales have been presented in previous research for monitoring intensity during resistance training with elastic bands. The aim was to assess the accuracy and reliability of RPE for quantifying the potential maximal repetitions that could be performed at a given RPE (from 2 to 8 of 10) obtained in the first repetition. For this purpose, 13 recreationally active participants (age: 26.33 [6.52] years, body mass index: 24.97 [5.08] kg/m2) were involved in two familiarization and two experimental sessions. In each session, participants randomly performed one set at each intensity of the first repetition from 2/10 to 8/10 until volitional failure in three different exercises (fly, military press, and push–press). An individual grip width of the elastic band was chosen in each set. The number of repetitions and heart rate were assessed. Significance level was set at p < .05. Repetitions decreased when intensity increased (p < .01) and heart rate was higher in the global exercise (i.e., push–press; p < .05), but nonsignificant differences between intensities were reported. The level of experience influenced the number of repetitions performed (p < .05). Intersession reliability was set from good to excellent (range: 0.64–0.91). Therefore, the RPE of the first repetition is a relevant and reliable parameter related to the total number of repetitions performed for each RPE value in trained participants enrolled in elastic bands resistance training.

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Proprioceptive Acuity Assessment in Multiple Directions Across Multiple Joints in the Upper Limb

Kai-Qi Zhang, Yan-Xia Li, Na Lv, Qiang Ma, Shu-Jun Zhang, Xi Zhao, Kai Wang, Li Li, and Lin Li

Proprioception is essential for precise movement as it helps the body transmit important data about its surroundings to the central nervous system for maintaining body posture and position. This study aimed to investigate the effect of direction and joint angle on upper limb proprioception. Thirty individuals (all males) completed a position reproduction activity in 13 directions and three joint angles. It was discovered that upper limb proprioception is dependent on joint angle, direction, and range of motion. The position reproduction error was found to be dependent on the direction, which had a significantly lower accuracy in the direction with a larger range of motion. In addition, upper limb repositioning errors increased at greater limb elevation angles. Our findings also showed that the joint angle did not significantly affect the absolute error of elbow flexion. With an increase in the elbow flexion, the increase of the gravitational moment of the upper arm and hand coupled with the increase of the muscle arm of the biceps brachii possibly causes slight changes in muscle length perceived by spindles or muscular force perceived by Golgi tendon organs.

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Assessing the Fundamental Movement Skills of Children With Intellectual Disabilities in the Special Olympics Young Athletes Program

Hayley Kavanagh, Mika Manninen, Sarah Meegan, and Johann Issartel

Mastering the ability to move proficiently from a young age is an important contributor to lifelong physical activity participation. This study examined fundamental movement skill (FMS) proficiency in children with intellectual disabilities (n = 96, 60% boys, age 5–12 years) and typically developing children (n = 96, 60% boys, age 5–12 years). Participants were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development–3rd edition and balance subtest from the Bruininks–Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency 2. The FMS proficiency of typically developing children including mastery/near mastery level (combined variable representing mastery, which is achieving all criteria for the skill, over both trials and near mastery, wherein a participant performs all but one of the components of the skill correctly) was significantly higher than for children with intellectual disabilities. A similar observation was made with multiple linear regression analysis testing the interaction effect of participant group and age/gender on all three FMS subcomponents. The results presented will help establish a baseline of FMS proficiency and guidelines for future intervention for children with intellectual disabilities.