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  • Author: George J. Salem x
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Loren Z.F. Chiu and George J. Salem

Sacral marker and pelvis reconstruction methods have been proposed to approximate total body center of mass during relatively low intensity gait and hopping tasks, but not during a maximum effort vertical jumping task. In this study, center of mass displacement was calculated using the pelvic kinematic method and compared with center of mass displacement using the ground-reaction force-impulse method, in experienced athletes (n = 13) performing restricted countermovement vertical jumps. Maximal vertical jumps were performed in a biomechanics laboratory, with data collected using an 8-camera motion analysis system and two force platforms. The pelvis center of mass was reconstructed from retro-reflective markers placed on the pelvis. Jump height was determined from the peak height of the pelvis center of mass minus the standing height. Strong linear relationships were observed between the pelvic kinematic and impulse methods (R 2 = .86; p < .01). The pelvic kinematic method underestimated jump height versus the impulse method, however, the difference was small (CV = 4.34%). This investigation demonstrates concurrent validity for the pelvic kinematic method to determine vertical jump height.

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Loren Z.F. Chiu and George J. Salem

Potentiation has been reported in power tasks immediately following a strength stimulus; however, only whole-body performance has been assessed. To determine the acute effects of weightlifting on vertical jump joint kinetics, performance was assessed before, during, and after snatch pull exercise in male athletes. Jumping was assessed using 3D motion analysis and inverse dynamics. Jump height was enhanced at the midpoint (5.77%; p = .001) and end (5.90%; p < .001) of the exercise session, indicating a greater powergenerating ability. At the midpoint, knee extensor net joint work was increased (p = .05) and associated with increased jump height (r = .57; p = .02). Following exercise, ankle plantar flexor net joint work was increased (p = .02) and associated with increased jump height (r = .67; p = .006). Snatch pull exercise elicited acute enhancements in vertical jump performance. At the midpoint of the exercise session, greater work at the knee joint contributed to enhanced performance. At the end of the exercise session, greater work at the ankle contributed to enhanced performance. Consequently, potentiation is not elicited uniformly across joints during multijoint exercise.

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Sean P. Flanagan and George J. Salem

The purpose of this investigation was to determine if increases in external resistance during a squat movement would be controlled by proportionally scaling the net joint moment work or average net joint moment (NJM) at the hip, knee, and ankle. Eighteen experienced subjects performed 3 sets of 3 repetitions each of a squat movement using resistances of 25, 50, 75, and 100% of their 3-repetition maximum, while instrumented for biomechanical analyses. Standard inverse dynamics techniques and numerical integration were used to calculate the NJM work and average NJM of each joint. A combination of single-subject and group mean statistical analyses indicated that the neither the NJM work nor average NJM increased proportionately in response to increases in external loading. Results suggest a complex control strategy in which the hip was the dominant contributor, increased linearly with the external load, and had low variability. The knee and ankle contributions were neither as great nor as linear, and were highly variable, suggesting that they were influenced by more than just the external load. The disproportionate response of each joint to varying external resistances suggests that controlling the force output of multijoint chains requires further study and modifications to existing motor control theories.

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Sean P. Flanagan and George J. Salem

In the analysis of human movement, researchers often sum individual joint kinetics to obtain a single measure of lower extremity function. The extent to which these summed measures relate to the mechanical objectives of the task has not been formally validated. The criterion validity of these measures was established with comparisons to the mechanical objective of two multiple-joint tasks. For the Work task 18 participants performed a loaded barbell squat using 4 resistances while instrumented for biomechanical analysis. For the Power they performed 2 predetermined amounts of work at both self-selected and fast speeds. Using inverse dynamics techniques, the peak net joint moment (PM) was calculated bilaterally in the sagittal plane at the ankle, knee, and hip and was summed into a single measure. This measure was correlated with the task objectives using simple linear regression. Similar procedures were used for the average net joint moment (AM), peak (PP), and average (AP) net joint moment power, and the net joint moment impulse (IM) and work (IP). For the Work task all 6 measures were significantly correlated with the task objective, but only AM, PM, and IP had correlation coefficients above 0.90. For the Power task, IM was not significantly correlated with the task objective, and only AP had a correlation coefficient above 0.90. These findings indicate that the validity of summing individual kinetic measures depends on both the measure chosen and the mechanical objective of the task.

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George J. Salem, Man-Ying Wang and Susan Sigward

In order to obtain joint-specific baseline strength characteristics in older adults, clinicians and researchers must have knowledge regarding the relative stability of the various strength tests (the strength difference between repeated measures) and the number of prebaseline practice sessions required to obtain consistent data. To address these needs, the relative multiple-test stability and reliability associated with lower extremity isokinetic and 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) strength measures were assessed in a sample of older adults (N = 30, 65.2 ± 6.3 years), over 4 weeks (T1-T4). Isokinetic ankle plantar-flexion (30°/s) strength and 1RM ankle plantar-flexion, leg-press, and knee-flexion strength exhibited poor stability between Weeks T1 and T2 but stabilized between Weeks T2 and T3 and Weeks T3 and T4. The measures exhibited low incidence of injury and induced low levels of residual muscle soreness. Findings suggest that the 1RM measures require at least 1 prebaseline training session in order to establish consistent baseline performance and are more reliable than isokinetic ankle plantar-flexion tests.

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Sean P. Flanagan, Kara M. Kessans and George J. Salem

Context:

Information regarding how the mechanical demand differs with variants of the step exercise may be used by clinicians to more appropriately prescribe lower-extremity exercise.

Objective:

To quantify the joint torque contributions of the lower extremity during three different step exercises: forward step-up (FS), lateral step-up (LS), and step-down (SD).

Design:

An experiment with a repeated measures design.

Setting:

Biomechanics laboratory.

Participants:

18 healthy subjects (9 men, 9 women, age 25.67 ± 4.23 years, height 1.73 ± 0.10 meters, mass 72.73 ± 10.67 kilograms).

Intervention:

Participants performed three sets of three repetitions of each exercise while instrumented for biomechanical analysis.

Main Outcome Measure:

Mechanical effort of the hip, knee, and ankle of both limbs during each exercise.

Results:

The greatest contribution from the hip was required during the FS, while the contribution from the knee was required during the SD. The greatest contribution from the ankle was required during the LS and SD.

Conclusion:

Choice of step exercise results in different distributions of mechanical demand across the lower extremities.

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George J. Salem, Man-Ying Wang, Stanley P. Azen, Jean T. Young and Gail A. Greendale

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of two doses of a weighted vest on acute lower-extremity gait kinetics in older adults. Peak ankle, knee, and hip net joint moments were quantified in 56 men and women volunteers (73.8 ± 6.9 years old) enrolled in a 6-month physical activity study. At the initial study visit, participants underwent 6 walking trials (3 with vest, 3 without vest) at their normal pace. During the vest-wearing trials, participants wore a vest loaded with either 0% of body weight (BW) (n = 19), 3% of BW (n = 16), or 5% of BW (n = 21). With acute application of the vests, maximum peak plantarflexion moments increased by 5.7% in the 5% BW group compared to the 0% BW group, p < 0.01. Compared to the 0% vest-weight group, knee extension moments increased by 13.8% when 5% BW was applied, p < 0.01; a marginally significant treatment effect was evident in the 3% BW group, p = 0.04. Despite these acute alterations, knee strength and physical performance did not improve when subjects wore the vests 2 hours a day, 4 days a week for 27 weeks, without additional exercise prescription. These findings suggest that: (a) the acute changes in vest-mediated lower-extremity kinetics are not systemic but joint specific and load dependent, and (b) weighted vest prescription should be greater than 5% BW without prescribed exercise, or should include prescribed exercises, to invoke long-term strength and physical performance gains in older adults.

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Sean P. Flanagan, Joo-Eun Song, Man-Ying Wang, Gail A. Greendale, Stanley P. Azen and George J. Salem

The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether increases in internal (muscular) demand would be proportional to increases in the external demand during heel-raise exercise. Seven male (mean age 74.9 ± 4.8 years) and 9 female (mean age 74.4 ± 5.1 years) older adults performed both double-leg heel raises and single-leg heel raises under 3 loading conditions (no external resistance and +5% and +10% of each participant’s body weight). Kinematic and kinetic dependent variables were calculated using standard inverse-dynamics techniques. The results suggest that although the single-heel raise led to increases in peak net joint moments, power, and mechanical-energy expenditure (MEE), it did so at the expense of range of motion and angular velocity. In addition, increasing the external resistance by 5% of participants’ body weight did not elicit significant changes in either the power or the MEE of the ankle joint. These effects should be considered when prescribing these exercises to older adults.

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George J. Salem, Sean P. Flanagan, Man-Ying Wang, Joo-Eun Song, Stanley P. Azen and Gail A. Greendale

Stepping activities when wearing a weighted vest may enhance physical function in older persons. Using 3 weighted-vest resistance dosages, this study characterized the lower-extremity joint biomechanics associated with stepping activities in elders. Twenty healthy community-dwelling older adults, ages 74.5 ± 4.5 yrs, performed 3 trials of forward step-up and lateral step-up exercises while wearing a weighted vest which added 0% body weight (BW), 5% BW, or 10% BW. They performed these activities on a force platform while instrumented for biomechanical analysis. Repeated-measures ANOVA was used to evaluate the differences in ankle, knee, and hip maximum joint angles, peak net joint moments, joint powers, and impulses among both steping activities and the 3 loading conditions. Findings indicated that the 5% BW vest increased the kinetic output associated with the exercise activities at all three lower-extremity joints. These increases ranged from 5.9% for peak hip power to 12.5% for knee extensor impulse. The application of an additional 5% BW resistance did not affect peak joint moments or powers, but it did increase the joint impulses by 4–11%. Comparisons between exercise activities, across the 3 loading conditions, indicated that forward stepping preferentially targeted the hip extensors while lateral stepping targeted the plantar flexors; both activities equally targeted the knee extensors. Weighted-vest loads of 5% and 10% BW substantially increased the mechanical demand on the knee extensors, hip extensors (forward stepping), and ankle plantar flexors (lateral stepping).