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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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Julie R. Steele

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Oğuz K. Esentürk and Erkan Yarımkaya

The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and potential efficacy of a WhatsApp-based physical activity for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Fourteen parents and their children with ASD participated in the study. The intervention included parents conducting physical activities with their children with ASD for 4 weeks. Physical activity contents were provided to parents via the WhatsApp group. The data were collected through the Leisure Time Exercise Questionnaire and a feasibility questionnaire adapted from previous studies examining the feasibility of web-based physical activities. Parents reported that WhatsApp-based physical activities were a feasible intervention to increase the physical activity level of their children with ASD and stated that the contents of the physical activity shared in the WhatsApp group were useful. The findings provided preliminary evidence for the use of WhatsApp-based physical activities to increase the physical activity level of children with ASD who stay at home due to the pandemic.

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Lisa Chaba, Stéphanie Scoffier-Mériaux, Fabienne d’Arripe-Longueville, and Vanessa Lentillon-Kaestner

This article focuses on two popular sports that can put male athletes at risk of developing an eating disorder: bodybuilding and running. Bodybuilders concentrate on gaining muscle mass and runners on leaning body mass. Based on the trans-contextual model of motivation, this study aimed to better understand the psychological mechanisms underlying eating disorders in these athletes. In all, 272 male bodybuilders and 217 male runners completed measures of sport motivation, theory of planned behavior variables (i.e., attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control, and intention to gain muscle mass/lean body mass), and eating disorders (dieting, control, and bulimia behaviors). The results revealed satisfactory fit indices for both samples. Autonomous and controlled motivations for sport were positively directly and indirectly related to eating disorders in these athletes. This motivational mechanism needs more in-depth investigation, and motivational profiles might help distinguish athletes with and without eating disorders.

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Hannah E. Wyatt, Gillian Weir, Carl Jewell, Richard E.A. van Emmerik, and Joseph Hamill

Coordination variability (CV) is commonly analyzed to understand dynamical qualities of human locomotion. The purpose of this study was to develop guidelines for the number of trials required to inform the calculation of a stable mean lower limb CV during overground locomotion. Three-dimensional lower limb kinematics were captured for 10 recreational runners performing 20 trials each of preferred and fixed speed walking and running. Stance phase CV was calculated for 9 segment and joint couplings using a modified vector coding technique. The number of trials required to achieve a CV mean within 10% of 20 strides average was determined for each coupling and individual. The statistical outputs of mode (walking vs running) and speed (preferred vs fixed) were compared when informed by differing numbers of trials. A minimum of 11 trials were required for stable mean stance phase CV. With fewer than 11 trials, CV was underestimated and led to an oversight of significant differences between mode and speed. Future overground locomotion CV research in healthy populations using a vector coding approach should use 11 trials as a standard minimum. Researchers should be aware of the notable consequences of an insufficient number of trials for overall study findings.

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Kyle B. Kosik, Kathryn Lucas, Matthew C. Hoch, Jacob T. Hartzell, Katherine A. Bain, and Phillip A. Gribble

Studies have demonstrated that individuals with chronic ankle instability (CAI) have diminished dynamic stability. Jerk-based measures have been utilized to examine dynamic balance because of their ability to quantify changes in acceleration and may provide an understanding of the postural corrections that occur during stabilizing following a jumping task. The purpose of this study was to compare acceleration and jerk following a jump stabilization task between individuals with CAI and the uninjured controls. Thirty-nine participants volunteered to participate in this case control study. Participants completed a jump stabilization task requiring them to jump off 2 feet, touch a marker set at 50% of their maximal vertical jump height, land on a single limb, and maintain balance for 3 seconds. Acceleration was calculated as the second derivative, and jerk was calculated as the third derivative of the displacement of the resultant vector position. Participants with CAI had greater acceleration (mean difference = 55.6 cm/s2; 95% confidence interval, 10.3 to 100.90; P = .017) and jerk compared with the uninjured controls (mean difference = 1804.5 cm/s3; 95% confidence interval, 98.7 to 3510.3; P = .039). These results suggest that individuals with CAI made faster and more frequent active postural control corrections to regain balance following a jump compared with the uninjured controls.