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Denys Batista Campos, Isabella Christina Ferreira, Matheus Almeida Souza, Macquiden Amorim Jr, Leonardo Intelangelo, Gabriela Silveira-Nunes, and Alexandre Carvalho Barbosa

Objective: To examine the selective influences of distinct acceleration profiles on the neuromuscular efficiency, force, and power during concentric and eccentric phases of isoinertial squatting exercise. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory of the university. Participants: A total of 38 active adults were divided according to their acceleration profiles: higher (n = 17; >2.5 m/s2) and lower acceleration group (n = 21; <2.5 m/s2). Intervention: All subjects performed squats until failure attached to an isoinertial conic pulley device monitored by surface electromyography of rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, and semitendinosus. Main Outcome Measures: An incremental optical encoder was used to assess maximal and mean power and force during concentric and eccentric phases. The neuromuscular efficiency was calculated using the mean force and the electromyographic linear envelope. Results: Between-group differences were observed for the maximal and mean force (Prange = .001–.005), power (P = .001), and neuromuscular efficiency (Prange = .001–.03) with higher significant values for the higher acceleration group in both concentric and eccentric phases. Conclusion: Distinct acceleration profiles affect the neuromuscular efficiency, force, and power during concentric and eccentric phases of isoinertial squatting exercise. To ensure immediate higher levels of power and force output without depriving the neuromuscular system, acceleration profiles higher than 2.5 m/s2 are preferable. The acceleration profiles could be an alternative to evolve the isoinertial exercise.

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Kyung-eun Lee, Seung-min Baik, Chung-hwi Yi, Oh-yun Kwon, and Heon-seock Cynn

Context: Side bridge exercises strengthen the hip, trunk, and abdominal muscles and challenge the trunk muscles without the high lumbar compression associated with trunk extension or curls. Previous research using electromyography (EMG) reports that performance of the side bridge exercise highly activates the gluteus medius (Gmed). However, to the best of our knowledge, no previous research has investigated EMG amplitude in the hip and trunk muscles during side bridge exercise in subjects with Gmed weakness. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the EMG activity of the hip and trunk muscles during 3 variations of the side bridge exercise (side bridge, side bridge with knee flexion, and side bridge with knee flexion and hip abduction of the top leg) in subjects with Gmed weakness. Design: Repeated-measures experimental design. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients: Thirty subjects (15 females and 15 males) with Gmed weakness participated in this study. Intervention: Each subject performed 3 variations of the side bridge exercise in random order. Main Outcome Measures: Surface EMG was used to measure the muscle activities of the rectus abdominis, external oblique, longissimus thoracis, multifidus, Gmed, gluteus maximus, and tensor fasciae latae (TFL), and Gmed/TFL muscle activity ratio during 3 variations of the side bridge exercise. Results: There were significant differences in Gmed (F2,56 = 110.054, P < .001), gluteus maximus (F2,56 = 36.416, P < .001), and TFL (F2,56 = 108.342, P < .001) muscles among the 3 side bridge exercises. There were significant differences in the Gmed/TFL muscle ratio (F2,56 = 20.738, P < .001). Conclusion: Among 3 side bridge exercises, the side bridge with knee flexion may be effective for the individuals with Gmed weakness among 3 side bridge exercises to strengthen the gluteal muscles, considering the difficulty of the exercise and relative contribution of Gmed and TFL.

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Bruno Augusto Lima Coelho, Helena Larissa das Neves Rodrigues, Gabriel Peixoto Leão Almeida, and Sílvia Maria Amado João

Context: Restriction in ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) has been previously associated with excessive dynamic knee valgus. This, in turn, has been correlated with knee pain in women with patellofemoral pain. Objectives: To investigate the immediate effect of 3 ankle mobilization techniques on dorsiflexion ROM, dynamic knee valgus, knee pain, and patient perceptions of improvement in women with patellofemoral pain and ankle dorsiflexion restriction. Design: Randomized controlled trial with 3 arms. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Participants: A total of 117 women with patellofemoral pain who display ankle dorsiflexion restriction were divided into 3 groups: ankle mobilization with anterior tibia glide (n = 39), ankle mobilization with posterior tibia glide (n = 39), and ankle mobilization with anterior and posterior tibia glide (n = 39). Intervention(s): The participants received a single session of ankle mobilization with movement technique. Main Outcome Measures: Dorsiflexion ROM (weight-bearing lunge test), dynamic knee valgus (frontal plane projection angle), knee pain (numeric pain rating scale), and patient perceptions of improvement (global perceived effect scale). The outcome measures were collected at the baseline, immediate postintervention (immediate reassessment), and 48 hours postintervention (48 h reassessment). Results: There were no significant differences between the 3 treatment groups regarding dorsiflexion ROM and patient perceptions of improvement. Compared with mobilization with anterior and posterior tibia glide, mobilization with anterior tibia glide promoted greater increase in dynamic knee valgus (P = .02) and greater knee pain reduction (P = .02) at immediate reassessment. Also compared with mobilization with anterior and posterior tibia glide, mobilization with posterior tibia glide promoted greater knee pain reduction (P < .01) at immediate reassessment. Conclusion: In our sample, the direction of the tibia glide in ankle mobilization accounted for significant changes only in dynamic knee valgus and knee pain in the immediate reassessment.

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Arthur Alves Dos Santos, James Sorce, Alexandra Schonning, and Grant Bevill

This study evaluated the performance of 6 commercially available hard hat designs—differentiated by shell design, number of suspension points, and suspension tightening system—in regard to their ability to attenuate accelerations during vertical impacts to the head. Tests were conducted with impactor materials of steel, wood, and lead shot (resembling commonly seen materials in a construction site), weighing 1.8 and 3.6 kg and dropped from 1.83 m onto a Hybrid III head/neck assembly. All hard hats appreciably reduced head acceleration to the unprotected condition. However, neither the addition of extra suspension points nor variations in suspension tightening mechanism appreciably influenced performance. Therefore, these results indicate that additional features available in current hard hat designs do not improve protective capacity as related to head acceleration metrics.

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Vito V. Nucci, David H. Jarrett, Catherine M. Palmo, Brenna M. Razzano, Mehmet Uygur, and Scott J. Dankel

Context: Blood flow restricted exercise involves the use of external pressure to enhance fatigue and augment exercise adaptations. The mechanisms by which blood flow restricted exercise limits muscular endurance are not well understood. Objective: To determine how increasing blood flow restriction pressure impacts local muscular endurance, discomfort, and force steadiness when the contractions are already occlusive. Design: Within-participant, repeated-measures crossover design. Setting: University laboratory. Patients: A total of 22 individuals (13 males and 9 females). Intervention: Individuals performed a contraction at 30% of maximal isometric elbow flexion force for as long as possible. One arm completed the contraction with 100% of arterial occlusion pressure applied, while the other arm had 150% of arterial occlusion pressure applied. At the end of the protocol, individuals were asked to rate their perceived discomfort. Main Outcome Measures: Time to task failure, discomfort, and force steadiness. Results: Individuals had a longer time to task failure when performing the 100% arterial occlusion condition compared with the 150% arterial occlusion pressure condition (time to task failure = 82.4 vs 70.8 s; Bayes factors = 5.77). There were no differences in discomfort between the 100% and 150% conditions (median discomfort = 5.5 vs 6; Bayes factors = 0.375) nor were there differences in force steadiness (SD of force output 3.16 vs 3.31 N; Bayes factors = 0.282). Conclusion: The results of the present study suggest that, even when contractions are already occlusive, increasing the restriction pressure reduces local muscle endurance but does not impact discomfort or force steadiness. This provides an indication that mechanisms other than the direct alteration of blood flow are contributing to the increased fatigue with added restrictive pressure. Future studies are needed to examine neural mechanisms that may explain this finding.

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Bensu Sogut, Habib Ozsoy, Recep Baloglu, and Gulcan Harput

Clinical Scenario: Knee muscle strength weakness after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is the most commonly seen impairment. Whole-body vibration (WBV) training has been shown to improve muscle strength in both healthy and injured individuals. However, it is not clear yet if WBV training has a beneficial effect in knee muscle strength recovery after ACL reconstruction. Clinical Question: Is adding WBV training to conventional rehabilitation more effective than conventional rehabilitation at improving quadriceps and hamstring muscles strength in individuals who have undergone ACL reconstruction? Summary of Key Findings: After the literature was reviewed, 4 randomized controlled trials met the inclusion criteria and were included in this critically appraised topic. Clinical Bottom Line: There is moderate- to high-quality evidence to support that adding WBV to conventional rehabilitation programs can result in better improvement in knee muscle strength after ACL reconstruction. Strength of Recommendation: Findings from 4 randomized controlled trials indicate that there is level B evidence supporting that WBV is effective for knee muscle strength recovery in patients who had undergone ACL reconstruction.

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Warlindo Carneiro da Silva Neto, Alexandre Dias Lopes, and Ana Paula Ribeiro

Context: Running is a popular sport globally. Previous studies have used a gait retraining program to successfully lower impact loading, which has been associated with lower injury rates in recreational runners. However, there is an absence of studies on the effect of this training program on the plantar pressure distribution pattern during running. Objective: To investigate the short-term effect of a gait retraining strategy that uses visual biofeedback on the plantar pressure distribution pattern and foot posture in recreational runners. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Participants: Twenty-four recreational runners were evaluated (n = 12 gait retraining group and n = 12 control group). Intervention: Those in the gait retraining group underwent a 2-week program (4 sessions/wk, 30 min/session, and 8 sessions). The participants in the control group were also invited to the laboratory (8 times in 2 wk), but no feedback on their running biomechanics was provided. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome measures were plantar pressure distribution and plantar arch index using a pressure platform. The secondary outcome measure was the foot posture index. Results: The gait retraining program with visual biofeedback was effective in reducing medial and lateral rearfoot plantar pressure after intervention and when compared with the control group. In the static condition, the pressure peak and maximum force on the forefoot and midfoot were reduced, and arch index was increased after intervention. After static training intervention, the foot posture index showed a decrease in the foot pronation. Conclusions: A 2-week gait retraining program with visual biofeedback was effective in lowering rearfoot plantar pressure, favoring better support of the arch index in recreational runners. In addition, static training was effective in reducing foot pronation. Most importantly, these observations will help healthcare professionals understand the importance of a gait retraining program with visual biofeedback to improve plantar loading and pronation during rehabilitation.