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Travers and Jennifer Berdahl

Despite being formally all-gender, children’s baseball in Canada and the United States remains highly male dominated. We draw on the autoethnographic fieldwork of Travers as a queer/trans volunteer coach to demonstrate the social processes that reproduce male domination among coaches in children’s baseball. We employ the theoretical lens of doing/redoing/undoing gender to demonstrate the enactment of a hybrid form of masculinity we term “Good Dad Masculinity.” Good Dad Masculinity reproduces male domination in children’s baseball as a de facto highly gendered organization wherein girls, women, and nonnormatively gendered people of all ages are peripherally included, at best. As Good Dad Masculinity reproduces male domination while appearing to embody and endorse gender egalitarianism, resistance to it is akin to wrestling with jello.

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James R. Debenham, William I. Gibson, Mervyn J. Travers, Amity C. Campbell, and Garry T. Allison

Context:

Eccentric exercises are increasingly being used to treat lower-limb musculoskeletal conditions such as Achilles tendinopathy. Despite widespread clinical application and documented efficacy, mechanisms underpinning clinical benefit remain unclear. Positive adaptations in motor performance are a potential mechanism.

Objective:

To investigate how an eccentric loading intervention influences measures of stretch-shortening-cycle (SSC) behavior during a hopping task.

Design:

Within-subjects repeated-measures observational study.

Setting:

University motion-analysis laboratory.

Participants:

Healthy adults.

Interventions:

A single intervention of 5 sets of 10 eccentric plantar-flexion contractions at 6 repetitions maximum using a commercial seated calf-raise machine.

Main Outcome Measures:

Lower-limb stiffness, sagittal-plane ankle kinematics, and temporal muscle activity of the agonist (soleus) and antagonist (tibialis anterior) muscles, measured during submaximal hopping on a custom-built sledge-jump system.

Results:

Eccentric loading altered ankle kinematics during submaximal hopping; peak angle shifted to a less dorsiflexed position by 2.9° and ankle angle precontact shifted by 4.4° (P < .001). Lower-limb stiffness increased from 5.9 to 6.8 N/m (P < .001), while surface EMG measures of soleus occurred 14–44% earlier (P < .001) after the loading intervention.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that eccentric loading alters SSC behavior in a manner reflective of improved motor performance. Decreased ankle excursion, increased lower-limb stiffness, and alterations in motor control may represent a positive adaptive response to eccentric loading. These findings support the theory that mechanisms underpinning eccentric loading for tendinopathy may in part be due to improved “buffering” of the tendon by the neuromuscular system.

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John H. Hollman, Jeffrey M. Hohl, Jordan L. Kraft, Jeffrey D. Strauss, and Katie J. Traver

Context:

Abnormal lower extremity kinematics during dynamic activities may be influenced by impaired gluteus maximus function.

Objective:

To examine whether hip-extensor strength and gluteus maximus recruitment are associated with dynamic frontal-plane knee motion during a jump-landing task.

Design:

Exploratory study.

Setting:

Biomechanics laboratory.

Participants:

40 healthy female volunteers.

Main Outcome Measures:

Isometric hip-extension strength was measured bilaterally with a handheld dynamometer. Three-dimensional hip and knee kinematics and gluteus maximus electromyography data were collected bilaterally during a jumplanding test. Data were analyzed with hierarchical linear regression and partial correlation coefficients (α = .05).

Results:

Hip motion in the transverse plane was highly correlated with knee motion in the frontal plane (partial r = .724). After controlling for hip motion, reduced magnitudes of isometric hip-extensor strength (partial r = .470) and peak gluteus maximus recruitment (partial r = .277) were correlated with increased magnitudes of knee valgus during the jump-landing task.

Conclusion:

Hip-extensor strength and gluteus maximus recruitment, which represents a measure of the muscle’s neuromuscular control, are both associated with frontal-plane knee motions during a dynamic weight-bearing task.

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Brittany G. Travers, Heather L. Kirkorian, Matthew J. Jiang, Koeun Choi, Karl S. Rosengren, Porter Pavalko, and Paul Jobin

Folding paper is a seemingly simple act that requires planning, bimanual coordination, and manual strength and control to produce specific forces. Although paper folding has been used as an assessment tool and as a way to promote spatial skills, this study represents the first attempt to document when paper folding emerges across early childhood. Seventy-seven children (ages 18 months to 7 years) and an adult reference group (24 college-aged adults) completed three pre-specified folds on a single piece of paper. Dependent variables included whether children attempted each fold and, if so, the accuracy of each fold. Grip strength, pinch strength, and developmental level were examined as potential correlates of paper folding. The results demonstrated that paper folding emerges as early as 27 months of age but becomes more accurate with age. At least 50% of children between 4 and 5.5 years of age completed folds. Additionally, children with more age-appropriate problem-solving skills attempted more folds, independent of age. These findings provide a descriptive framework for the ages at which paper folding emerges and suggest that paper-folding interventions could be implemented at even earlier ages than what previously has been examined.

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Sebastien Racinais, Julien D. Périard, Julien Piscione, Pitre C. Bourdon, Scott Cocking, Mohammed Ihsan, Mathieu Lacome, David Nichols, Nathan Townsend, Gavin Travers, Mathew G. Wilson, and Olivier Girard

Purpose: To investigate whether including heat and altitude exposures during an elite team-sport training camp induces similar or greater performance benefits. Methods: The study assessed 56 elite male rugby players for maximal oxygen uptake, repeated-sprint cycling, and Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 2 (Yo-Yo) before and after a 2-week training camp, which included 5 endurance and 5 repeated-sprint cycling sessions in addition to daily rugby training. Players were separated into 4 groups: (1) control (all sessions in temperate conditions at sea level), (2) heat training (endurance sessions in the heat), (3) altitude (repeated-sprint sessions and sleeping in hypoxia), and (4) combined heat and altitude (endurance in the heat, repeated sprints, and sleeping in hypoxia). Results: Training increased maximal oxygen uptake (4% [10%], P = .017), maximal aerobic power (9% [8%], P < .001), and repeated-sprint peak (5% [10%], P = .004) and average power (12% [14%], P < .001) independent of training conditions. Yo-Yo distance increased (16% [17%], P < .001) but not in the altitude group (P = .562). Training in heat lowered core temperature and increased sweat rate during a heat-response test (P < .05). Conclusion: A 2-week intensified training camp improved maximal oxygen uptake, repeated-sprint ability, and aerobic performance in elite rugby players. Adding heat and/or altitude did not further enhance physical performance, and altitude appears to have been detrimental to improving Yo-Yo.