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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 (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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ZáNean McClain, Jill Pawlowski, and Daniel W. Tindall

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Ling Zhang, Shao-bai Wang, Shuai Fan, Jiling Ye, and Bin Cai

Context: Performance in strength and assessment of patellar tracking is important for patients with arthrofibrosis after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Objective: The study was to examine the difference of patellofemoral kinematics between the affected and the contralateral limb and to evaluate the relationship between knee extensor strength and patellofemoral kinematics in patients with arthrofibrosis after ACL reconstruction. Design: Cohort study (diagnosis); level of evidence, 3. Setting: Laboratory. Patients: A prospective cohort of 20 patients with arthrofibrosis after ACL reconstruction was recruited. Interventions: A total of 20 patients who underwent arthroscopic reconstruction of the double-bundle ACL with a hamstring tendon autograft received standardized patellofemoral kinematics testing and knee extensor strength testing within 6 months after primary ACL reconstruction. Computed tomography and dual fluoroscopic imaging were used to evaluate in vivo patellofemoral kinematics of affected and contralateral knees during a lunge task. Knee extensor mechanism strength was measured using a handheld dynamometer. Main Outcome Measures: A limb symmetry index of knee strength and patellar mobility was calculated and satisfactory performance defined as ≥90%. Results: There was a statistically significant decrease in the range of patellar inferior shift (P = .020; d = 0.81), flexion (P = .026; d = 0.95), lateral tilt (P = .001; d = 1.04), and lateral rotation (P < .001; d = 0.89) in the affected knee compared with the contralateral knee from 15° to 75° of knee flexion. There was a strong positive linear correlation between knee extensor strength and patellar inferior shift (r = .747; P = .008). A knee extensor strength limb symmetry index <90% was 89% sensitive and 9% specific for limited patellar inferior shift. Conclusions: Patients with arthrofibrosis after ACL reconstruction presented decreased patellar mobility in the arthrofibrotic knee compared with the contralateral knee. The strong correlation between knee extensor strength and patellar inferior shift of the arthrofibrotic knee demonstrates the importance of knee extensor strength in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with knee arthrofibrosis. The knee extensor mechanism strength has high sensitivity but low specificity in identifying a decrease in patellar inferior shift in patients with arthrofibrosis after ACL reconstruction.

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Katie L. Kowalski, Ali Boolani, and Anita D. Christie

Compromised attentional resources during perceived fatigue has been suggested to alter motor control. The authors determined if measures of postural control and gait are predicted by state and trait physical and mental fatigue and energy, and how these relationships are modified by sex, sleep quality, and physical activity. Young adults (n = 119) completed the Modified Clinical Test of Sensory Integration, overground walking, and questionnaires to quantify fatigue and energy, sleep quality, and physical activity. Regression models indicated that trait fatigue, trait energy, and sleep quality were predictors of postural control (p ≤ .02, R 2 ≥ .04). State fatigue, state energy, and sex were predictors of gait (p ≤ .05, R 2 ≥ .03). While the variance explained was low (3–13%), the results demonstrate perceptions of fatigue and energy may influence posture and gait.

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Jessica Murphy, Karen A. Patte, Philip Sullivan, and Scott T. Leatherdale

The mental health benefits of physical activity may relate more to the context of the behavior, rather than the behavior of being active itself. The association between varsity sport (VS) participation, depression, and anxiety symptoms was explored using data from 70,449 high school students from the Cannabis use, Obesity, Mental health, Physical activity, Alcohol use, Smoking, and Sedentary behavior study. The model adjusted for potential covariates; interactions by sex and participation in outside of school sport (OSS) were explored. Overall, 70% and 24% of respondents met or exceeded cutoff values for depression and anxiety, respectively. Students participating in VS had lower symptoms of anxiety and depression compared with nonparticipants. Results were consistent regardless of OSS participation; associations were strongest among students who participated in both VS and OSS and males. Participation in VS may prove beneficial for the prevention and/or management of depression or anxiety symptoms, particularly among males. An additive beneficial effect of OSS on depression and anxiety scores may exist.

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Thiago R.T. Santos, Sergio T. Fonseca, Vanessa L. Araújo, Sangjun Lee, Fabricio Saucedo, Stephen Allen, Christopher Siviy, Thales R. Souza, Conor Walsh, and Kenneth G. Holt

The addition of a load during walking requires changes in the movement pattern. The investigation of the dynamic joint stiffness behavior may help to understand the lower limb joints’ contribution to these changes. This study aimed to investigate the dynamic stiffness of lower limb joints in response to the increased load carried while walking. Thirteen participants walked in two conditions: unloaded (an empty backpack) and loaded (the same backpack plus added mass corresponding to 30% of body mass). Dynamic stiffness was calculated as the linear slope of the regression line on the moment–angle curve during the power absorption phases of the ankle, knee, and hip in the sagittal plane. The results showed that ankle (P = .002) and knee (P < .001) increased their dynamic stiffness during loaded walking compared with unloaded, but no difference was observed at the hip (P = .332). The dynamic stiffness changes were different among joints (P < .001): ankle and knee changes were not different (P < .992), but they had a greater change than hip (P < .001). The nonuniform increases in lower limb joint dynamic stiffness suggest that the ankle and knee are critical joints to deal with the extra loading.