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Christopher Joyce, Angus Burnett and Miccal Matthews

No method currently exists to determine the location of the kick point during the golf swing. This study consisted of two phases. In the first phase, the static kick point of 10 drivers (having identical grip and head but fitted with shafts of differing mass and stiffness) was determined by two methods: (1) a visual method used by professional club fitters and (2) an algorithm using 3D locations of markers positioned on the golf club. Using level of agreement statistics, we showed the latter technique was a valid method to determine the location of the static kick point. In phase two, the validated method was used to determine the dynamic kick point during the golf swing. Twelve elite male golfers had three shots analyzed for two drivers fitted with stiff shafts of differing mass (56 g and 78 g). Excellent between-trial reliability was found for dynamic kick point location. Differences were found for dynamic kick point location when compared with static kick point location, as well as between-shaft and within-shaft. These findings have implications for future investigations examining the bending behavior of golf clubs, as well as being useful to examine relationships between properties of the shaft and launch parameters.

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Christopher A. Bailey, Kimitake Sato, Angus Burnett and Michael H. Stone

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the existence of bilateral strength and force-production asymmetry and evaluate possible differences based on sex, as well as strength level. Asymmetry was assessed during weight-distribution (WtD) testing, unloaded and lightly loaded static- (SJ) and countermovement-jump (CMJ) testing, and isometric midthigh-pull (IMTP) strength testing. Subjects included 63 athletes (31 male, 32 female) for WtD, SJ, and CMJ tests, while 129 athletes (64 male, 65 female) participated in IMTP testing. Independent-samples t tests were used to determine possible differences in asymmetry magnitude between males and females, as well as between strong and weak athletes. Cohen d effect-size (ES) estimates were also used to estimate difference magnitudes. Statistically different asymmetry levels with moderate to strong ESs were seen between males and females in WtD, 0-kg SJ (peak force [PF]), 20-kg SJ (peak power [PP]), 0-kg CMJ (PF, PP, net impulse), and 20-kg CMJ (PF), but no statistical differences were observed in IMTP variables. Dividing the sample into strong and weak groups produced statistically significant differences with strong ES estimates in IMTP PF and rate of force development, and many ESs in jump symmetry variables increased. The results of this investigation indicate that females may be more prone to producing forces asymmetrically than males during WtD and jumping tasks. Similarly, weaker athletes displayed more asymmetry than stronger athletes. This may indicate that absolute strength may play a larger role in influencing asymmetry magnitude than sex.

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David Bishop, Angus Burnett, Damian Farrow, Tim Gabbett and Robert Newton

As sports scientists, we claim to make a significant contribution to the body of knowledge that influences athletic practice and performance. Is this the reality? At the inaugural congress of the Australian Association for Exercise and Sports Science, a panel of well-credentialed academic experts with experience in the applied environment debated the question, Does sports-science research influence practice? The first task was to define “sports-science research,” and it was generally agreed that it is concerned with providing evidence that improves sports performance. When practices are equally effective, sports scientists also have a role in identifying practices that are safer, more time efficient, and more enjoyable. There were varying views on the need for sports-science research to be immediately relevant to coaches or athletes. Most agreed on the importance of communicating the results of sports-science research, not only to the academic community but also to coaches and athletes, and the need to encourage both short- and long-term research. The panelists then listed examples of sports-science research that they believe have influenced practice, as well as strategies to ensure that sports-science research better influences practice.

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Leo Ng, Amity Campbell, Angus Burnett and Peter O’Sullivan

The trunk and pelvis kinematics of 20 healthy male and female adolescent rowers were recorded during an ergometer trial using an electromagnetic tracking system (Fastrak). The kinematics of each drive phase were collected during the 1st and 20th minute, respectively. The mean and range of the kinematics, stroke rate and stroke length were compared between genders and over time. Male rowers postured their pelvis with more posterior tilt and their thoracic spine in more flexion than female rowers (P < .05). Both genders postured their pelvis in more posterior pelvic rotation and upper trunk in more flexion over time. Male rowers were found to have a significantly shorter drive phase than female rowers (P = .001). Differences in trunk and pelvic kinematics between adolescent male and female rowers suggest potentially various mechanisms for biomechanical stress. Assessment and training of rowers should take gender differences into consideration.

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Wissem Dhahbi, Anis Chaouachi, Anis Ben Dhahbi, Jodie Cochrane, Laurence Chèze, Angus Burnett and Karim Chamari

Purpose:

To examine differences between ground-reaction-force (GRF)-based parameters collected from 5 types of plyometric push-ups. Between-trials reliability and the relationships between parameters were also assessed.

Methods:

Thirty-seven highly active commando soldiers performed 3 trials of 5 variations of the plyometric push-up in a counterbalanced order: standard countermovement push-up (SCPu), standard squat push-up (SSPu), kneeling countermovement push-up (KCPu), kneeling squat push-up (KSPu), and drop-fall push-up (DFPu). Vertical GRF was measured during these exercises using a portable Kistler force plate. The GRF applied by the hands in the starting position (initial force supported), peak GRF and rate of force development during takeoff, flight time, impact force, and rate of force development impact on landing were determined.

Results:

During standard-position exercises (SCPu and SSPu) the initial force supported and impact force were higher (P < .001) than with kneeling exercises (KCPu, KSPu, and DFPu). The peak GRF and rate of force development during takeoff were higher (P < .001) in the countermovement push-up exercises ([CMP] SCPu, KCPu, and DFPu) than squat push-up exercises ([SP] SSPu and KSPu). Furthermore, the flight time was greater (P < .001) during kneeling exercises than during standard-position exercises. A significant relationship (P < .01) between impact force and the rate of force development impact was observed for CMP and SP exercises (r = .83 and r = .62, respectively). The initial force supported was also negatively related (P < .01) to the flight time for both CMP and SP (r = –.74 and r = –.80, respectively). It was revealed that the initial force supported and the peak GRF during takeoff had excellent reliability; however, other parameters had poor absolute reliability.

Conclusions:

It is possible to adjust the intensity of plyometric push-up exercises and train athletes’ muscle power by correctly interpreting GRF-based parameters. However, caution is required as some parameters had marginal absolute reliability.

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Leo Ng, Amity Campbell, Angus Burnett, Anne Smith and Peter O’Sullivan

There is a high prevalence of low back pain (LBP) in adolescent male rowers. In this study, regional lumbar spinal kinematics and self-reported LBP intensity were compared between 10 adolescent rowers with moderate levels of LBP relating to rowing with 10 reporting no history of LBP during a 15-minute ergometer trial using an electromagnetic tracking system. Adolescent male rowers with LBP reported increasing pain intensity during ergometer rowing. No significant differences were detected in mean upper or lower lumbar angles between rowers with and without LBP. However, compared with rowers without pain, rowers with pain: (1) had relatively less excursion of the upper lumbar spine into extension over the drive phase, (2) had relatively less excursion of the lower lumbar spine into extension over time, (3) had greater variability in upper and lower lumbar angles over the 15-minute ergometer trial, (4) positioned their upper lumbar spine closer to end range flexion for a greater proportion of the drive phase, and (5) showed increased time in sustained flexion loading in the upper lumbar spine. Differences in regional lumbar kinematics exist between adolescent male rowers with and without LBP, which may have injury implication and intervention strategies.

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Jack M. Burns, Jeremiah J. Peiffer, Chris R. Abbiss, Greig Watson, Angus Burnett and Paul B. Laursen

Purpose:

Manufacturers of uncoupled cycling cranks claim that their use will increase economy of motion and gross efficiency. Purportedly, this occurs by altering the muscle-recruitment patterns contributing to the resistive forces occurring during the recovery phase of the pedal stroke. Uncoupled cranks use an independent-clutch design by which each leg cycles independently of the other (ie, the cranks are not fixed together). However, research examining the efficacy of training with uncoupled cranks is equivocal. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of short-term training with uncoupled cranks on the performance-related variables economy of motion, gross efficiency, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), and muscle-activation patterns.

Methods:

Sixteen trained cyclists were matched-paired into either an uncoupled-crank or a normal-crank training group. Both groups performed 5 wk of training on their assigned cranks. Before and after training, participants completed a graded exercise test using normal cranks. Expired gases were collected to determine economy of motion, gross efficiency, and VO2max, while integrated electromyography (iEMG) was used to examine muscle-activation patterns of the vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, and gastrocnemius.

Results:

No significant changes between groups were observed for economy of motion, gross efficiency, VO2max, or iEMG in the uncoupled- or normal-crank group.

Conclusions:

Five weeks of training with uncoupled cycling cranks had no effect on economy of motion, gross efficiency, muscle recruitment, or VO2max compared with training on normal cranks.

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Abdulla S. Al-Mohannadi, Abdulaziz Farooq, Angus Burnett, Mercia Van Der Walt and Mohamed Ghaith Al-Kuwari

Background:

Little is known about the effects that climatic conditions, especially extreme heat, have on physical activity (PA) levels. The aim of this 2-year cohort analysis undertaken in the Arabian Gulf region was to assess changes in objectively-assessed PA as a result of changes in climatic conditions.

Methods:

A total of 2088 adults (1390 men and 698 women) from many regions of the world were enrolled in a community health program in Qatar, were included in this study. For 2 years participants recorded daily step count using an Omron HJ-720 ITC pedometer. Daily climate parameters included temperature, relative humidity and other conditions.

Results:

From linear mixed model analysis it was evident that higher average temperature and humidity, and the Wet bulb Globe Temperature (WbGT), resulted in a reduction of the number of steps taken per day. Analysis of interaction effects also revealed that the effects of heat stress were equivalent across gender, age, and the region participants came from according to a World Health Organization classification scheme.

Conclusions:

Increased temperature and humidity are associated with a reduction in the number of steps taken per day. Community-based PA programs in hot hot/humid climates should consider novel approaches to increase PA levels.

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Jie Yu, Cindy H.P. Sit, Angus Burnett, Catherine M. Capio, Amy S.C. Ha and Wendy Y.J. Huang

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of fundamental movement skills (FMS) training on FMS proficiency, self-perceived physical competence (SPC), physical activity (PA), and sleep disturbance in children with developmental coordination disorder (DCD) compared with children with typical development (TD). A total of 84 children were allocated into either experimental group (DCD[exp], TD[exp]) who received 6 weeks of FMS training or control groups (DCD[con], TD[con]). FMS were assessed using the Test of Gross Motor Development-2, whereas PA was monitored using accelerometers. SPC and sleep disturbance were evaluated using questionnaires. Results showed that the DCD[exp] group had significantly higher scores in FMS and SPC compared with the DCD[con] group at posttest. The DCD[exp] group scored lower in sleep disturbance at follow-up when compared with posttest. It is suggested that short-term FMS training is effective in improving FMS and SPC and reducing sleep disturbances for children with DCD.