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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 (P range = .001–.005), power (P = .001), and neuromuscular efficiency (P range = .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 (F 2,56 = 110.054, P < .001), gluteus maximus (F 2,56 = 36.416, P < .001), and TFL (F 2,56 = 108.342, P < .001) muscles among the 3 side bridge exercises. There were significant differences in the Gmed/TFL muscle ratio (F 2,56 = 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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Yetsa A. Tuakli-Wosornu, Xiang Li, Kimberly E. Ona Ayala, Yinfei Wu, and David B. Frumberg

It is known that high-performance sprinters with unilateral and bilateral prosthetic lower limbs run at different speeds using different spatiotemporal strategies. Historically, these athletes still competed together in the same races, but 2018 classification rule revisions saw the separation of these two groups. This study sought to compare Paralympic sprint performance between all-comer (i.e., transfemoral and transtibial) unilateral and bilateral amputee sprinters using a large athlete sample. A retrospective analysis of race speed among Paralympic sprinters between 1996 and 2016 was conducted. In total, 584 published race results from 161 sprinters revealed that unilateral and bilateral lower-extremity amputee sprinters had significantly different race speeds in all three race finals (100 m, p value <.001; 200 m, <.001; 400 m, <.001). All-comer bilateral amputee runners ran faster than their unilateral counterparts; performance differences increased with race distance. These data support current classification criteria in amputee sprinting, which may create more equal competitive fields in the future.

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Mu Qiao

Although the dynamics of center of mass can be accounted for by a spring-mass model during hopping, less is known about how each leg joint (ie, hip, knee, and ankle) contributes to center of mass dynamics. This work investigated the function of individual leg joints when hopping unilaterally and vertically at 4 frequencies (ie, 1.6, 2.0, 2.4, and 2.8 Hz). The hypotheses are (1) all leg joints maintain the function as torsional springs and increase their stiffness when hopping faster and (2) leg joints are controlled to maintain the mechanical load in the joints or vertical peak accelerations at different body locations when hopping at different frequencies. Results showed that all leg joints behaved as torsional springs during low-frequency hopping (ie, 1.6 Hz). As hopping frequency increased, leg joints changed their functions differently; that is, the hip and knee shifted to strut, and the ankle remained as spring. When hopping fast, the body’s total mechanical energy decreased, and the ankle increased the amount of energy storage and return from 50% to 62%. Leg joints did not maintain a constant load at the joints or vertical peak accelerations at different body locations when hopping at different frequencies.

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Nathálya Gardênia de Holanda Marinho Nogueira, Bárbara de Paula Ferreira, Fernanda Veruska Narciso, Juliana Otoni Parma, Sara Edith Souza de Assis Leão, Guilherme Menezes Lage, and Lidiane Aparecida Fernandes

This study investigated the influence of chronotype on motor behavior in a manual dexterity task performed at different times of the day. Sixteen healthy adults of each chronotype (morning, evening, and neither), as measured by the Morningness–Eveningness Questionnaire, practiced both conditions of the Grooved Pegboard Test either in the morning or in the afternoon to early evening. The “neither” chronotype (65.12 ± 7.46) was outperformed (ps ≤ .03) by both the morning (56.09 ± 7.21) and evening (58.94 ± 7.53) chronotypes when the task had higher cognitive and motor demand but was not outperformed in the task with lower demand (morning = 18.46 ± 2.11; evening = 19.34 ± 2.79; neither = 21.47 ± 2.54; p > .05). No difference between the morning and evening chronotypes was found at the different times of the day (ps > .05), suggesting that a manual dexterity task is not sufficiently demanding to be influenced by chronotype.

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Victoria Sanborn, Lauren Todd, Hanna Schmetzer, Nasha Manitkul-Davis, John Updegraff, and John Gunstad

Anxiety and depressive symptoms are prevalent in athletes. The pandemic of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) may increase risk for symptoms due to fear of exposure during competition or uncertainty regarding participation. The current study examined the prevalence of COVID-19 anxiety in 437 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I student-athletes and its association with psychological symptoms. Only 0.2% of participants endorsed COVID-19 anxiety symptoms above cutoff. COVID-19 anxiety did not change after postponement of fall sports or differ between persons competing in different seasons. However, higher levels of COVID-19 anxiety were significantly associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. Though student-athletes generally reported low levels of psychological symptoms, females endorsed significantly higher levels than males. Low levels of COVID-19 anxiety in student-athletes may reflect protective factors (e.g., health knowledge, emotion regulation) or the tendency for this population to minimize psychological symptoms. Further investigations on the psychological impact of COVID-19 in athletes is needed.

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Félix Croteau, Shawn M. Robbins, and David Pearsall

Context: Previous authors suggest that lack of strength is an important risk factor for injuries in water polo. Hand-held dynamometers have potential as a clinical tool to measure strength, but they have not been validated in water polo players. Objective: The purpose of this study was to estimate intertrial variability and concurrent validity of hand-held dynamometer shoulder strength measurements in elite water polo players. Methods: A total of 19 male and 20 female elite water polo players performed isometric external (ER) and internal (IR) rotation strength tests against a hand-held dynamometer bilaterally in supine position with the shoulder in a 90–90 position. In addition, concentric IR and ER was captured at 90 deg/s with an isokinetic dynamometer, and torque values were determined near the 90–90 position. Main Outcome Measures: Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated for ER torque, IR torque, and ER/IR ratios between the devices. Two-way mixed-model intraclass correlations were used to assess intertrial variability. Results: Correlations between the devices were strong to very strong (ρ = .65–.82, P < .01) for absolute IR and ER but low for ER/IR ratios (ρ = .29, P = .07). There was less agreement at higher torque values. Intertrial variability was low with intraclass correlation values .88 to .93, P < .05. Conclusions: These results show that hand-held dynamometers are adequate clinical alternatives to measure absolute shoulder strength in water polo players. Stronger players may require stronger evaluators to resist the player’s push and obtain reliable results.

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Tyler A. Wood, Jake M. Tablerion, Randy A. Ballard, Jerrad Zimmerman, and Jacob J. Sosnoff

There is minimal biomechanical research examining head impacts in noncollision sport, such as diving. This pilot study quantified the number of head impacts and magnitude of linear head acceleration in collegiate divers. Three participants wore instrumented swim caps for 10 practice sessions. A total of 1,271 dives were recorded and analyzed. Acceleration at impact ranged from 24.1g to 33.3g for 1-m dives and from 31.6g to 38.4g for 3-m dives. Simple main effects were observed for dive type (p > .001) and dive distance (p > .001). The current data suggest diving athletes experience considerable head acceleration, yet more research is needed to understand the potential implications.