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Christopher A. Bailey and Patrick A. Costigan

The step-up-and-over test has been used successfully to examine knee function after knee injury. Knee function is quantified using the following variables extracted from force plate data: the maximal force exerted during the lift, the maximal impact force at landing, and the total time to complete the step. For various reasons, including space and cost, it is unlikely that all clinicians will have access to a force plate. The purpose of the study was to determine if the step-up-and-over test could be simplified by using an accelerometer. The step-up-and-over test was performed by 17 healthy young adults while being measured with both a force plate and a 3-axis accelerometer mounted at the low back. Results showed that the accelerometer and force plate measures were strongly correlated for all 3 variables (r = .90–.98, Ps < .001) and that the accelerometer values for the lift and impact indices were 6–7% higher (Ps < .01) and occurred 0.07–0.1 s later than the force plate (Ps < .05). The accelerometer returned values highly correlated to those from a force plate. Compared with a force plate, a wireless, 3-axis accelerometer is a less expensive and more portable system with which to measure the step-up-and-over test.

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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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Christopher A. Bailey, Maxana Weiss and Julie N. Côté

Aging affects fatigability and is a risk factor for incurring a fatigue-related injury in the neck/shoulder region. Age-related changes in the electromyographical features of motor control may be partly responsible. Young (N = 17) and older (N = 13) adults completed a reach-and-lift task at their self-selected speed, before and after a fatiguing task targeting the neck/shoulder. Electromyography amplitude (root mean square), amplitude variability (root mean square coefficient of variation [CV]), functional connectivity (normalized mutual information [NMI]), and functional connectivity variability (NMI CV) were extracted from several muscles and analyzed for effects and interactions of age using general estimating equation models. Root mean square CV and deltoid NMI CV increased from pre- to postfatigue (ps < .05). Upper trapezius–deltoid NMI decreased for young, but increased for older adults, while the opposite response was found for lower trapezius–deltoid NMI (ps < .05). Older adults seem to adapt to fatigue in reach-and-lift movement with a cranial shift in control of the scapula.