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Gretchen D. Oliver

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Gretchen Oliver, Lisa Henning, and Hillary Plummer

The purpose of this study was to examine activations of selected scapular stabilizing musculature while performing an overhead throw with a hold (not releasing the ball) in two different throwing positions—standing with a crow hop and kneeling on the ipsilateral knee. Surface electromyography was used to examine activations of throwing side lower trapezius (LT), middle trapezius (MT), serratus anterior (SA), and upper trapezius (UT). Muscle activations were recorded while performing the overhead throw with holds while in two throwing positions. MANOVA results revealed no significant differences between the two throwing conditions and muscle activations of LT, MT, SA, and UT: F(8,124) = .804, p = .600; Wilks’s Λ = .904, partial η2 = .049. Although no significant differences were observed in the scapular stabilizers between the two conditions, moderate (21–50% MVIC) to high (> 50% MVIC) activations of each muscle were present, indicating that nonrelease throws may be beneficial for scapular stabilization in throwers.

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Yuri Hosokawa and Gretchen D. Oliver

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Gretchen D. Oliver, Audrey Stone, and Jessica Washington

Recently, sports medicine professionals have shown interest in using dynamic movement assessments to help identify biomechanical risk factors for musculoskeletal injury. Thus the purpose of this study was to propose two movements (single leg step down and single leg lateral hop) that could predict injury and determine if these proposed movements elicited muscle activation of the hamstrings and gluteals. Surface electromyography was employed and muscle activations of the hamstrings and gluteus medius muscles were classified as strong during both the single leg step down (SLSD) and single leg lateral hop (SLLH). Both the hamstrings and gluteus medius muscles are associated with musculoskeletal injury. The SLSD and SLLH cause significantly high muscle activation of both these muscle groups and should be considered for use in dynamic movement assessments.

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Gretchen D. Oliver

Edited by Patrick McKeon

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David W. Keeley, Gretchen D. Oliver, Christopher P. Dougherty, and Michael R. Torry

The purpose of this study was to better understand how lower body kinematics relate to peak glenohumeral compressive force and develop a regression model accounting for variability in peak glenohumeral compressive force. Data were collected for 34 pitchers. Average peak glenohumeral compressive force was 1.72% ± 33% body weight (1334.9 N ± 257.5). Correlation coefficients revealed 5 kinematic variables correlated to peak glenohumeral compressive force (P < .01, α = .025). Regression models indicated 78.5% of the variance in peak glenohumeral compressive force (R2 = .785, P < .01) was explained by stride length, lateral pelvis flexion at maximum external rotation, and axial pelvis rotation velocity at release. These results indicate peak glenohumeral compressive force increases with a combination of decreased stride length, increased pelvic tilt at maximum external rotation toward the throwing arm side, and increased pelvis axial rotation velocity at release. Thus, it may be possible to decrease peak glenohumeral compressive force by optimizing the movements of the lower body while pitching. Focus should be on both training and conditioning the lower extremity in an effort to increase stride length, increase pelvis tilt toward the glove hand side at maximum external rotation, and decrease pelvis axial rotation at release.

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Gretchen D. Oliver

Edited by Jennifer Medina McKeon

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Germanna M. Barbosa, Larissa P. Ribeiro, Ana B. Nasser, Gretchen D. Oliver, and Paula R. Camargo

Context: Understanding the musculoskeletal adaptations in the shoulder complex of varying ages of tennis athletes may suggest preventive protocols and conditioning and rehabilitation programs to this population. This study aimed to generate a bilateral descriptive profile of shoulder flexibility, scapular and clavicular position, and muscle strength in pediatric and adult amateur tennis athletes. The outcome measures were compared between groups and sides. The number and percentage of athletes “at risk” according to cutoff values for shoulder range of motion (ROM) were also analyzed. Design: Cross-sectional study. Methods: 36 pediatric and 28 adult amateur tennis athletes were tested. Outcome measures were ROM of shoulder flexion, abduction, internal and external rotation, posterior capsule tightness, pectoralis minor index (PMI), scapular upward rotation, clavicular elevation, and strength of the external rotators, serratus anterior, and lower trapezius of the dominant/nondominant sides. Results: Pediatric athletes had greater dominant side external rotation (P = .01) and total ROM (P = .04), increased Low Flexion test (P = .01), and decreased PMI (P = .01) compared with the adults. Bilaterally, the pediatric athletes had greater dominant side external rotation ROM (P < .01) and decreased PMI (P = .002) as compared with their nondominant side, whereas the adults displayed lower values on posterior capsule tightness (P = .01) and decreased PMI (P = .02) on their dominant side compared with their nondominant side. For the remaining outcomes, no interaction effects were observed. The cutoff values for shoulder ROM showed that several athletes were “at risk” of shoulder problems. Conclusion: Upper extremity adaptations at the shoulder are present in both pediatric and adult tennis athletes. These data can assist clinicians in better understanding the biomechanical adaptations in the shoulder of amateur tennis athletes in different age groups.

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Gabrielle G. Gilmer, Jessica K. Washington, Jeffrey R. Dugas, James R. Andrews, and Gretchen D. Oliver

Context: Studies have found that a 20% reduction in energy generation from the lumbopelvic-hip complex during overhead throws leads to a 34% increase in load on the shoulder. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of lumbopelvic-hip complex stability, via the single leg squat assessment, on throwing mechanics of softball athletes. Design: Prospective cohort study. Setting: Laboratory setting. Participants: A total of 50 softball athletes (164.0 [104.0] cm, 65.6 [11.3] kg, 16.3 [3.8] y, 8.61 [3.62] y of experience) performed 3 overhead throws and a single leg squat on each leg. Intervention: Four stability groups were derived: (1) stable on both legs (bilateral stability), (2) unstable on the throwing side leg (TS instability) and stable on the nonthrowing side leg, (3) unstable on the nonthrowing side leg (NTS instability) and stable on the throwing side leg, and (4) unstable on both legs (bilateral instability). All throws were analyzed across 4 throwing events: foot contact (FC), maximum external shoulder rotation (MER), ball release (BR), and maximum internal shoulder rotation (MIR). Main Outcome Measures: Mann–Whitney U tests revealed significant differences between the bilateral stability and the TS instability groups in trunk flexion at BR; the bilateral stability and the NTS instability groups in trunk flexion at BR, shoulder horizontal abduction at FC, shoulder rotation at FC, and pelvis flexion at MIR; the TS instability and the bilateral instability groups in trunk rotation at FC; and the NTS instability and the bilateral instability groups in trunk flexion at MER and shoulder rotation at FC. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate the different mechanisms in which energy can be lost through lumbopelvic-hip complex instability as evident in throwing mechanics. The findings from this study suggest that the current methods used for classification could act as a tool for coaches, physicians, and athletic trainers when assessing their athletes’ injury susceptibility.

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Emily Wozobski, Gretchen D. Oliver, Jeff Bonacci, and Matt Summers