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Dominic Thewlis, Chris Bishop, Nathan Daniell and Gunther Paul

The objective quantification of three-dimensional kinematics during different functional and occupational tasks is now more in demand than ever. The introduction of new generation of low-cost passive motion capture systems from a number of manufacturers has made this technology accessible for teaching, clinical practice and in small/medium industry. Despite the attractive nature of these systems, their accuracy remains unproved in independent tests. We assessed static linear accuracy, dynamic linear accuracy and compared gait kinematics from a Vicon MX-f20 system to a Natural Point OptiTrack system. In all experiments data were sampled simultaneously. We identified both systems perform excellently in linear accuracy tests with absolute errors not exceeding 1%. In gait data there was again strong agreement between the two systems in sagittal and coronal plane kinematics. Transverse plane kinematics differed by up to 3° at the knee and hip, which we attributed to the impact of soft tissue artifact accelerations on the data. We suggest that low-cost systems are comparably accurate to their high-end competitors and offer a platform with accuracy acceptable in research for laboratories with a limited budget.

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Irineu Loturco, Timothy Suchomel, Chris Bishop, Ronaldo Kobal, Lucas A. Pereira and Michael McGuigan

Purpose: To compare the associations between optimum power loads and 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) values (assessed in half-squat and jump-squat exercises) and multiple performance measures in elite athletes. Methods: Sixty-one elite athletes (15 Olympians) from 4 different sports (track and field [sprinters and jumpers], rugby sevens, bobsled, and soccer) performed squat and countermovement jumps, half-squat exercise (to assess 1RM), half-squat and jump-squat exercises (to assess bar-power output), and sprint tests (60 m for sprinters and jumpers and 40 m for the other athletes). Pearson product–moment correlation test was used to determine relationships between 1RM and bar-power outputs with vertical jumps and sprint times in both exercises. Results: Overall, both measurements were moderately to near perfectly related to speed performance (r values varying from −.35 to −.69 for correlations between 1RM and sprint times, and from −.36 to −.91 for correlations between bar-power outputs and sprint times; P < .05). However, on average, the magnitude of these correlations was stronger for power-related variables, and only the bar-power outputs were significantly related to vertical jump height. Conclusions: The bar-power outputs were more strongly associated with sprint-speed and power performance than the 1RM measures. Therefore, coaches and researchers can use the bar-power approach for athlete testing and monitoring. Due to the strong correlations presented, it is possible to infer that meaningful variations in bar-power production may also represent substantial changes in actual sport performance.

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Oliver Gonzalo-Skok, Alejandro Moreno-Azze, José Luis Arjol-Serrano, Julio Tous-Fajardo and Chris Bishop

Purpose: To compare the effects of performing different unilateral strength training interventions on unilateral and bilateral jumping performance and their related asymmetries in young soccer players. Methods: Forty-five young (U-17) male soccer players were randomly assigned to 3 eccentric overload training programs. The first group executed the same volume with both legs starting with the weaker leg (SVW, n = 15); the second group carried out double volume with the weaker leg and also starting with the weaker leg (DVW, n = 15); and the third group performed the same volume with both legs starting with the stronger leg (SVS, n = 15). Jumping-performance assessment included a single-leg horizontal jump test, a triple single-leg horizontal jump test, a bilateral countermovement jump (CMJ) test, and a unilateral CMJ test. Asymmetries were also analyzed in the unilateral jumping tests. Results: CMJ was improved (effect size [ES]: 0.27–0.48) and CMJ asymmetry was possibly reduced (ES: 0.08–0.24) in all groups. Substantial improvements were found in triple hop (ES: 0.52–0.71) in SVW and DVW, and triple-hop asymmetry was substantially decreased (ES: 0.88) in DVW. Between-groups analysis showed a substantially better performance in triple hop and horizontal hop with right leg in SVW and DVW compared with SVS. Conclusions: Unilateral strength training programs were shown to substantially improve bilateral jumping performance, while unilateral jumping was substantially enhanced in the groups that started the training session with the weaker leg. Finally, between-limbs asymmetries in the triple hop were mainly reduced through performing double volume with the weaker leg.

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Irineu Loturco, Timothy Suchomel, Chris Bishop, Ronaldo Kobal, Lucas A. Pereira and Michael R. McGuigan

Purpose: To identify the bar velocities that optimize power output in the barbell hip thrust exercise. Methods: A total of 40 athletes from 2 sports disciplines (30 track-and-field sprinters and jumpers and 10 rugby union players) participated in this study. Maximum bar-power outputs and their respective bar velocities were assessed in the barbell hip thrust exercise. Athletes were divided, using a median split analysis, into 2 groups according to their bar-power outputs in the barbell hip thrust exercise (“higher” and “lower” power groups). The magnitude-based inferences method was used to analyze the differences between groups in the power and velocity outcomes. To assess the precision of the bar velocities for determining the maximum power values, the coefficient of variation (CV%) was also calculated. Results: Athletes achieved the maximum power outputs at a mean velocity, mean propulsive velocity, and peak velocity of 0.92 (0.04) m·s−1 (CV: 4.1%), 1.02 (0.05) m·s−1 (CV: 4.4%), and 1.72 (0.14) m·s−1 (CV: 8.4%), respectively. No meaningful differences were observed in the optimum bar velocities between higher and lower power groups. Conclusions: Independent of the athletes’ power output and bar-velocity variable, the optimum power loads frequently occur at very close bar velocities.

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Dana M. Otzel, Chris J. Hass, Erik A. Wikstrom, Mark D. Bishop, Paul A. Borsa and Mark D. Tillman

Context: Following a lateral ankle sprain, ∼40% of individuals develop chronic ankle instability (CAI), characterized by recurrent injury and sensations of giving way. Deafferentation due to mechanoreceptor damage postinjury is suggested to contribute to arthrogenic muscle inhibition (AMI). Whole-body vibration (WBV) has the potential to address the neurophysiologic deficits accompanied by CAI and, therefore, possibly prevent reinjury. Objective: To determine if an acute bout of WBV can improve AMI and proprioception in individuals with CAI. Design and Participants: The authors examined if an acute bout of WBV can improve AMI and proprioception in individuals with CAI with a repeated-measures design. A total of 10 young adults with CAI and 10 age-matched healthy controls underwent a control, sham, and WBV condition in randomized order. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Intervention: WBV. Main Outcome Measures: Motoneuron pool recruitment was assessed via Hoffmann reflex (H-reflex) in the soleus. Proprioception was evaluated using ankle joint position sense at 15° and 20° of inversion. Both were assessed prior to, immediately following, and 30 minutes after the intervention (pretest, posttest, and 30mPost, respectively). Results: Soleus maximum H-reflex:M-response (H:M) ratios were 25% lower in the CAI group compared with the control group (P = .03). Joint position sense mean constant error did not differ between groups (P = .45). Error at 15° in the CAI (pretest 0.8 [1.6], posttest 2.0 [2.8], 30mPost 2.0 [1.9]) and control group (pretest 0.8 [2.0], posttest 0.6 [2.9], 30mPost 0.5 [2.1]) did not improve post-WBV. Error at 20° did not change post-WBV in the CAI (pretest 1.3 [1.7], posttest 1.0 [2.4], 30mPost 1.5 [2.2]) or control group (pretest −0.3 [3.0], posttest 0.8 [2.1], 30mPost 0.6 [1.8]). Conclusion: AMI is present in the involved limb of individuals with CAI. The acute response following a single bout of WBV did not ameliorate the presence of AMI nor improve proprioception in those with CAI.