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Nicholas S. Ryan, Paul A. Bruno and John M. Barden

Studies have investigated the reliability and effect of walking speed on stride time variability during walking trials performed on a treadmill. The objective of this study was to investigate the reliability of stride time variability and the effect of walking speed on stride time variability, during continuous, overground walking in healthy young adults. Participants completed: (1) 2 walking trials at their preferred walking speed on 1 day and another trial 2 to 4 days later and (2) 1 trial at their preferred walking speed, 1 trial approximately 20% to 25% faster than their preferred walking speed, and 1 trial approximately 20% to 25% slower than their preferred walking speed on a separate day. Data from a waist-mounted accelerometer were used to determine the consecutive stride times for each trial. The reliability of stride time variability outcomes was generally poor (intraclass correlations: .167–.487). Although some significant differences in stride time variability were found between the preferred walking speed, fast, and slow trials, individual between-trial differences were generally below the estimated minimum difference considered to be a real difference. The development of a protocol to improve the reliability of stride time variability outcomes during continuous, overground walking would be beneficial to improve their application in research and clinical settings.

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Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, F. Javier Rojas, John F.T. Fernandes, Federico Gómez-Martínez and Amador García-Ramos

This study examined the effect of different coaching conditions on the magnitude and reliability of drop jump height in men and women. Nineteen collegiate sport sciences students (10 men) performed two sets of 10 drop jumps under four different coaching conditions: neutral, augmented feedback, external focus of attention, and a combination of augmented feedback and external focus of attention. The augmented feedback condition revealed a significantly higher jump height than the neutral condition (p = .002), while no significant differences were observed for the remaining conditions (p ≥ .38). The external focus of attention condition was more reliable than the neutral and augmented feedback conditions (coefficient of variationratio ≥ 1.15), while no differences were observed between the remaining conditions. These results suggest that both the magnitude and reliability of the drop jump height performance are influenced by the coaching condition.

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Marko Milic, Danica Janicijevic, Aleksandar Nedeljkovic, Ivan Cuk, Milos Mudric and Amador García-Ramos

This study aimed to determine the instruction that maximizes fencing attack performance and to explore the sensitivity of a novel efficiency index (EI) that considers reaction time, attack velocity, and absolute error to discriminate between beginners and experienced fencers. Instructions that directed attentional focus internally (react as fast as possible and perform the attack movement as fast as possible) or externally (be as accurate as possible) were provided prior to stimulus presentation. The EI did not differ between the instructions in any group (p > .05), the instructions “react as fast as possible” and “be as accurate as possible” promoted in beginners the highest and the lowest EI, and the EI was higher for fencers. Our findings suggest that the EI could be recommended as a general index of fencing attack efficiency.

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Brian J. Diefenbach, Anthony S. Kulas, Christopher J. Curran and Patrick M. Rider

Shear wave elastography imaging of the ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) is used to help understand changes in material properties of the ligament. Ensuring that the wrist flexors are relaxed is essential as muscle contractions can alter the alignment of the medial elbow. The purpose of this study was to determine how the structural and material properties of the medial elbow respond to various elbow torques. The medial elbows of 20 healthy adults, free from upper extremity disorders, were imaged in 3 of the following torque conditions: (1) neutral relaxed, (2) passive valgus, and (3) active varus. Structural properties (ulnohumeral gap and UCL length) using B-mode and material properties (UCL and flexor muscle stiffness) using shear wave were measured. Passive valgus torque opened the ulnohumeral gap (P < .001), and increased UCL (P < .001) and wrist flexor stiffness (P = .001), compared with the neutral condition. Under an active varus contraction, the gap returned back to the neutral position, but UCL (P < .008) and wrist flexor stiffness (P < .004) remained elevated compared with neutral, meaning low-intensity torques can influence structural and material properties of the medial elbow. Therefore, effort should be taken to minimize muscle activation during imaging in order to accurately measure medial elbow properties.

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Corbin Hedt, Bradley S. Lambert, Matthew L. Holland, Joshua Daum, Jeremiah Randall, David M. Lintner and Patrick C. McCulloch

Context: Shoulder rehabilitation can be a difficult task due to the dynamic nature of the joint complex. Various weight training implements, including kettlebells (KB), have been utilized for therapeutic exercise in the rehabilitation setting to improve shoulder girdle strength and motor control. The KBs are unique in that they provide an unstable load and have been purported to promote greater muscle activation versus standard dumbbells. Recent literature has examined the efficacy of KB exercises for global strengthening and aerobic capacity; however, electromyographic data for shoulder-specific activities are lacking. Objective: To examine muscle activation patterns about the rotator cuff and scapular musculature during 5 commonly-utilized KB exercises. Design: Cross-sectional analysis of a single group. Setting: Clinical biomechanics laboratory. Participants: Ten participants performed all exercises in a randomized order. Main Outcome Measures: Mean electromyographic values for each subject were compared between exercises for each target muscle. Results: Significant differences (P < .05) between exercises were observed for all target muscles except for the infraspinatus. Conclusions: The data in this study indicates that certain KB exercises may elicit activation of the shoulder girdle at different capacities. Physical therapy practitioners, athletic trainers, and other clinical professionals who intend to optimize localized strengthening responses may elect to prescribe certain exercises over others due to the inherent difference in muscular utilization. Ultimately, this data may serve to guide or prioritize exercise selection to achieve higher levels of efficacy for shoulder strength and stability gains.

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Julio Zago, Fellipe Amatuzzi, Tatiana Rondinel and João Paulo Matheus

Context: The effects of an exercise program (EP) for the treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) are well known. However, the effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) are unclear. Objective: To evaluate the effects of OMT versus EP on knee pain, functionality, plantar pressure in middle foot (PPMF), posterior thigh flexibility (PTF), and range of motion of hip extension in runners with PFPS. Design : This is a randomized controlled trial. Setting: Human performance laboratory. Participants: A total of 82 runners with PFPS participated in this study. Interventions: The participants were randomized into 3 groups: OMT, EP, and control group. The OMT group received joint manipulation and myofascial release in the lumbar spine, hip, sacroiliac joint, knee, and ankle regions. The EP group performed specific exercises for lower limbs. The control group received no intervention. Main Outcome Measures: The main evaluations were pain through the visual analog scale, functionality through the Lysholm Knee Scoring Scale, dynamic knee valgus through the step-down test, PPMF through static baropodometry, PTF through the sit and reach test, and range of motion through fleximetry. The evaluations were performed before the interventions, after the 6 interventions, and at 30-day follow-up. Results: There was a significant pain decrease in the OMT and EP groups when compared with the control group. OMT group showed increased functionality, decreased PPMF, and increased PTF. The range of motion for hip extension increased only in the EP group. Conclusion: Both OMT and EP are effective in treating runners with PFPS.

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Chantelle Zimmer and Janice Causgrove Dunn

Teachers can create supportive conditions in physical education to mitigate experiences of stress for children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD); however, most are unfamiliar with DCD and lack adequate training to instruct children with impairments. The purpose of this study was to explore teachers’ perceptions of and interactions in physical education with children thought to demonstrate functional difficulties associated with DCD. A semistructured interview was conducted with 12 teachers across all elementary years with diverse backgrounds and thematically analyzed. Four themes were produced. Teachers (a) had differing views on the etiology of children’s movement difficulties, though (b) all recognized a range of difficulties children demonstrated. They (c) believed it was their role to facilitate positive experiences for these children in physical education but (d) experienced challenges in doing so. Training that increases teachers’ knowledge of and abilities to address the needs of children thought to have DCD is warranted.

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Stamatis Agiovlasitis, Jooyeon Jin and Joonkoo Yun

The authors examined if body mass index (BMI), weight, and height across age groups differ between adults with Down syndrome (DS) and adults with intellectual disability but without DS. They conducted secondary analyses of cross-sectional data from 45,803 individuals from the United States from 2009 to 2014 of the National Core Indicators Adult Consumer Survey across five age groups: 18–29, 30–39, 40–49, 50–59, and 60+ years. For both men and women with DS, BMI and weight increased between the 18- to 29- and the 30- to 39-year age groups and decreased thereafter. For both men and women with intellectual disability, BMI and weight increased between the 18- to 29- and the 30- to 39-year age groups, stayed about the same until the 50- to 59-year age group, and decreased thereafter. Height demonstrated a small but significant decrease with older age in all groups. These cross-sectional comparisons indicate that BMI and weight may start decreasing at a younger age in adults with DS than in adults with intellectual disability.

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Teri A. Todd, Keely Ahrold, Danielle N. Jarvis and Melissa A. Mache

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically demonstrate deficits in gross motor skills such as the overhand throw. It has not been determined whether such deficits persist into adulthood. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the kinematics and developmental level of overhand throws among young adults with and without ASD. Three-dimensional motion-capture data were collected during overhand throwing trials performed by 20 college students (10 students with ASD). Individuals with ASD demonstrated similar throw duration, stride length, and step width but a longer acceleration phase and slower ball velocity than individuals without ASD. Young adults with ASD also performed the overhand throw with less developmental proficiency than those without ASD. Specifically, individuals with ASD exhibited developmental deficits in the backswing and composite throwing score. Motor skill interventions for individuals with ASD should address throwing skills, with a particular focus on the preparatory phase of the overhand throw.

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Kerri L. Staples, E. Andrew Pitchford and Dale A. Ulrich

The Test of Gross Motor Development is among the most commonly used measures of gross motor competency in children. An important attribute of any developmental assessment is its sensitivity to detect change. The purpose of this study was to examine the instructional sensitivity of the Test of Gross Motor Development—third edition (TGMD-3) performance criteria to changes in performance for 48 children (age 4–7 years) with and without Down syndrome following 10 weeks of physical education. Paired t tests identified significant improvements for all children on locomotor (p < .01) and ball skills (p < .01). These significant differences were associated with moderate to large effect sizes. SEM was low relative to the maximum raw score for each subtest, indicating high confidence in the scores. These findings provide evidence that the TGMD-3 is sensitive to change in performance for children with and without Down syndrome.