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Volume 24 (2020): Issue 4 (Oct 2020)

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Velocity Performance Feedback During Ballistic Training: Which Is the Optimal Frequency of Feedback Administration?

Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, Ainara Jiménez-Alonso, Mar Cepero, Sergio Miras-Moreno, F. Javier Rojas, and Amador García-Ramos

This study explored the impact of different frequencies of knowledge of results (KR) on velocity performance during ballistic training. Fifteen males completed four identical sessions (three sets of six repetitions at 30% one-repetition maximum during the countermovement jump and bench press throw) with the only difference of the KR condition provided: no feedback, velocity feedback after the first half of repetitions of each set (HalfKR), velocity feedback immediately after each repetition (ImKR), and feedback of the average velocity of each set (AvgKR). When compared with the control condition, the ImKR reported the highest velocity performance (1.9–5.3%), followed by the HalfKR (1.3–3.6%) and AvgKR (0.7–4.3%). These results support the verbal provision of velocity performance feedback after every repetition to induce acute improvements in velocity performance.

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Differences in Activity of the Brain Networks During Voluntary Motor Tasks Engaging the Local and Global Muscular Systems of the Lower Trunk

Rafael Gnat, Agata Dziewońska, Maciej Biały, and Martyna Wieczorek

Low back pain constitutes a multidimensional problem of largely unknown origin. One of the recent theories explaining its frequent occurrence includes speculative statements on patterns of central nervous system activity associated with the control of so-called local and global muscles of the lower trunk. The objective of the study was to verify whether there is a difference in the activity of the brain during selective, voluntary contraction of the local and global abdominal muscles as assessed by functional MRI. Twenty healthy subjects participated. An experimental design was applied with repeated measurements of the blood-oxygen-level–dependent signal from the brain during voluntary contraction of the local and global abdominal muscles, performed in random order. Prior to registration, a 2-week training period was introduced, aiming to master the experimental motor tasks. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were processed using the FMRIB Software Library (Oxford, UK). Brain areas showing significant activations/deactivations were identified and averaged across all participants, and intercondition differential maps were computed. Areas of significant intercondition differences were linked to the corresponding anatomical structures and ascribed to the default mode functional brain network and to the sensorimotor network. Contraction of the local abdominal muscles elicited more pronounced activity of the brain cortex, basal ganglia, and cerebellum. This suggests that motor control of the abdominal musculature consists of two modes of brain activity and that control of the local muscles may be a more challenging task for the brain. Moreover, contraction of the local muscles elicited more distinct deactivation of the default mode network, which may have implications for diagnostics and therapy of low back pain.

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The Effects of Mobile Texting and Walking Speed on Gait Characteristics of Normal Weight and Obese Adults

Jongil Lim, Jiyeon Kim, Kyoungho Seo, Richard E.A. van Emmerik, and Sukho Lee

The aim of this study was to examine how usage of mobile devices while simultaneously walking affects walking characteristics and texting performance of normal weight (NW) and obese (OB) individuals. Thirty-two OB (body mass index [BMI] = 34.4) and NW (BMI = 22.7) adults performed two 60-s walking trials at three-step frequencies along a rectangular walkway in two conditions (No Texting and Texting). Dual-task cost as well as unadjusted spatial and temporal gait characteristics were measured. Dual-task costs for the gait parameters as well as texting performance were not different between the groups, except for the lateral step variability showing a larger variability at the preferred frequency in OB individuals. For the unadjusted variables, OB exhibited longer double support, longer stance time, and lower turn velocity compared with NW. Overall, the results highlight a similar dual-task cost for the OB individuals compared with the NW individuals, in spite of underlying differences in gait mechanics.

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Upper Limb Proprioceptive Acuity Assessment Based on Three-Dimensional Position Measurement Systems

Lin Li, Yanxia Li, Chang-hong Wu, and Hao Fu

The aim of the current work was to verify three-dimensional directional effects on the reproduction error precision of the human upper limb position. Thirty male subjects without history of upper limb pathology were recruited from Renmin University of China. A three-dimensional position reproduction task in six directions (up, down, left, right, far, and near) was performed by each subject. The results suggested that the proprioceptive sense of upper limb position depends on the direction, with smaller absolute errors in Directions 4 (right) and 5 (far) than in Directions 1 (up), 2 (down), 3 (left), and 6 (near). Proprioception near the end of the elbow joint range of motion may be more reliable and sensitive. Subjects reproduced fewer ranges in the horizontal plane (Directions 3, 5, and 6) and they overshot the target position along the z-axis (vertical direction) except for Direction 6. Overestimations of position in the z-axis may be caused by overestimations of force.

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Sex Differences in Lower Limb Proprioception and Mechanical Function Among Healthy Adults

Xiaoyue Hu, Jingxian Li, and Lin Wang

Twenty-four healthy adults, including 12 females and 12 males, participated in the study. Each female participant completed three trials in three different phases of one menstrual cycle, which included follicular, ovulatory, and luteal phases. The study aimed to investigate whether there is any difference in joint kinetic sense, neuromuscular coordination, and isokinetic muscle strength (a) between healthy males and females at different phases of the menstrual cycle and (b) between females at different phases of the menstrual cycle. The outcome measures included the number of jumps in the square-hop test and ankle and knee proprioception, which were assessed by an electric-driven movable frame rotated at 0.4 deg/s and isokinetic muscle strength measured by a computerized dynamometer (Biodex). For the square-hop test (p = .006), ankle dorsiflexion/plantar flexion (p < .05), knee flexion/extension (p < .05), the relative peak torque of the isokinetic muscle strength at the 60° and 180° knee flexion/extension (p < .001), and the 30° and 120° ankle plantar flexion/dorsiflexion (p < .05) between females and males showed significant differences. For the females at different phases of the menstrual cycle, significant differences were found on ankle dorsiflexion (p = .003), plantar flexion (p = .023), knee extension (p = .029), the square-hop test (p = .036), and relative peak torque of isokinetic muscle strength at 180° knee flexion (p = .029). This study demonstrated that there are sex differences in lower limb proprioception and mechanical function. Females at ovulatory and luteal phases have better lower limb proprioception than at the follicular phase.

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Effect of Motor Development Levels on Kinematic Synergies During Two-Hand Catching in Children

Marzie Balali, Shahab Parvinpour, and Mohsen Shafizadeh

The ability to coordinate different body parts under different constraints that are imposed by organism, environment, and tasks during motor development might be different in children. The aim of this study was to examine whether children with different motor development levels are different with regard to multijoint coordination during two-hand catching. Eighty-four children (age: 6.05 ±0.67 years) who were assessed on object control skills were recruited voluntarily. The biomechanical model was defined from 20 movements of seven segments (shoulders, elbows, wrists, and torso), and the principal component analysis was used to quantify the multijoint coordination and kinematic synergies during catching. The results showed that the redundancy of joints in two-hand catching is controlled by three kinematic synergies that defined the majority of the variance. The participants who were grouped based on their development levels did not show differences in the number and strength of synergies; however, they were different in the utilization of the kinematic synergies for successful catching. In conclusion, the number and the strength of the kinematic synergies during two-hand catching are not affected by the developmental levels and are related to the nature of the task.

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An Open Data Set of Inertial, Magnetic, Foot–Ground Contact, and Electromyographic Signals From Wearable Sensors During Walking

Desiree Camara Miraldo, Renato Naville Watanabe, and Marcos Duarte

This study describes an open data set of inertial, magnetic, foot–ground contact, and electromyographic signals from wearable sensors during walking at different speeds. These data were acquired from 22 healthy adults using wearable sensors and walking at self-selected comfortable, fast and slow speeds, and standing still. All data are publicly available in the Internet ( In total, there are data of 9,661 gait strides. This data set also contains files with the instants of the gait events identified using the foot–ground contact sensors and notebooks exemplifying how to access and visualize the data. This data set gives the opportunity to all interested researchers to work with such data, for example, making tests of algorithms for gait event estimation against a common reference, possible.

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Sit-to-Stand Muscular Activity for Different Seat Backrest Inclination Levels and Execution Speeds

Nadège Tebbache and Alain Hamaoui

The sit-to-stand transfer can be separated into a postural phase (trunk flexion) and a focal phase (whole-body extension). The aim of this study was to analyze the as yet little known whole-body muscular activity characterizing each phase of this task and its variations with backrest inclination and execution speed. Fifteen muscles of the trunk and lower limbs of 10 participants were investigated using surface EMG. Results showed that backrest-induced modifications were mostly confined to the postural phase: reclining the backrest increased its duration and the activity level of the sternocleidomastoideus, the rectus and obliquus externus abdominis, and the semitendinosus. Speed-induced variations were also predominant during the postural phase, which was shortened with an increased activity of most muscles at maximal speed.

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The Ability of Runners to Identify Spatial and Temporal Variables of Speed During Endurance Running

Pedro Ángel Latorre-Román, Juan Francisco Fernández-Povedano, Jesús Salas-Sánchez, Felipe García-Pinillos, and Juan Antonio Párraga-Montilla

This study aimed to evaluate spatial and temporal perception in endurance runners as a mechanism of pacing control in comparison with other athletes (soccer players). A group of 38 endurance runners and 32 soccer players participated in this study. Runners displayed lower time differences and lower error than soccer players. Taking the athletic levels of endurance runners into consideration, significant differences (p = .011, Cohen’s d = 1.042) were found in the time differences (higher level group = 33.43 ± 29.43 vs. lower level group = 123.53 ±102.61). Significant correlations were found between time differences and performance in a Cooper test (r = −.546) and with the best time in a half marathon (r = .597). Temporal and spatial perception can be considered as a cognitive skill of endurance runners.