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Mohammad Hamzeh Shalamzari, Hooman Minoonejad, and Foad Seidi

Context: Range of motion (ROM) and muscular strength are the main factors that affect athletic performance. Self-myofascial release is a flexibility technique, which is used to inhibit overactive muscle fibers. Objective: To investigate the effects of the 8-week self-myofascial release on the isokinetic hamstrings-to-quadriceps strength ratio (H/QRatio) and the ROM of the knee joint among male athletes with the hamstring shortness. Design: A randomized controlled trial. Setting: Research laboratory. Participants: Twenty-four college-aged male athletes with hamstring shortness were selected for this study and were randomly assigned to a foam rolling group (FOAM, n = 12) and a control group (n = 12). Interventions: Participants in the FOAM group performed supervised self-myofascial release program 3 times per week for 8 weeks. The control group received no intervention. Methods: Data were analyzed via 2-way repeated-measure analysis of variance at the significance level of .05. Main Outcome Measures: ROM and the H/QRatio at the velocities of 60°/s, 120°/s, and 180°/s were measured by an isokinetic dynamometer. Results: The results of 2-way repeated-measure analysis of variance demonstrated that hamstring ROM increased in FOAM group (P = .001). No significant changes were found in H/QRatio after self-myofascial release for FOAM group (P ≥ .05). Conclusions: When compared with other methods of stretching, self-myofascial release with foam rolling may be beneficial in increasing ROM without decreasing H/QRatio in people with the hamstring shortness.

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Hooman Minoonejad, Mohammad Karimizadeh Ardakani, Reza Rajabi, Erik A. Wikstrom, and Ali Sharifnezhad

Context: Neuromuscular control deficit has been reported in people with chronic ankle instability (CAI) and hopping exercises have been recommended as a functional training tool to prevent lower limb injury, but its effects on lower-extremity neuromuscular control in those with CAI are unclear. Objective: To investigate the effect of hop stabilization training on neuromuscular control and self-reported function in college basketball players with CAI. Study Design: A randomized controlled trial. Setting: Research Laboratory. Patients (or Other Participants): A total of 28 college basketball players with CAI were randomly assigned to the experimental hop stabilization group (age = 22.78 [3.09] y, weight = 82.59 [9.51] kg, and height = 187.96 [7.93] cm) or the control group (age = 22.57 [2.76] y, weight = 78.35 [7.02] kg, and height = 185.69 [7.28] cm). Intervention: Participants in the experimental group performed supervised hop stabilization exercises 3 times per week for 6 weeks. The control group received no intervention. Main Outcome Measures: Preparatory and reactive muscle activation levels and muscle onset time were assessed from 8 lower-extremity muscles during a jump-landing task before and after the 6-week training program. Results: Significant improvements in preparatory muscle activation, reactive muscle activation, and muscle onset time were noted across the lower-extremity in the experimental group relative to the control group (P < .05). Self-reported function also improved in the experimental group relative to the control group (P < .05). Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that 6 weeks of hop stabilization training is effective in improving neuromuscular control and self-reported function in college basketball players with CAI. Hop stabilization exercises can be incorporated into the rehabilitation program for CAI.

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Mohammad H. Izadi Farhadi, Foad Seidi, Hooman Minoonejad, and Abbey C. Thomas

Context: Many factors have been reported contributing to altering the neuromuscular function of hip and knee muscles. The lumbar hyperlordosis, as a poor posture in some athletes, is thought to be associated with the alteration of the hip and knee muscles activity. Objective: To examine the activation of selected hip and knee muscles in athletes with and without lumbar hyperlordosis during functional activities. Design: Case-control study. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: Twenty-six college male athletes (n = 13 with and n = 13 without lumbar hyperlordosis). Interventions: Surface electromyography of gluteus maximus (GMAX), gluteus medius (GMED), vastus medialis oblique (VMO), and vastus lateralis (VL) were recorded during single-leg squat and single-leg jump landing (SLJL) tasks. Main Outcome Measure: Preactivity; reactivity; and onset muscle during SLJL and eccentric activity during single-leg squat (GMAX, GMED, VMO, and VL along with the ratio of VMO:VL) were assessed. Results: Athletes with lumbar hyperlordosis had a higher level of activity in their GMAX (P = .003), VMO (P = .04), and VL (P = .01) muscles at the moment before foot contact during SLJL. These athletes also demonstrated a higher level of GMAX activity (P = .01) immediately after foot contact. Finally, athletes with lumbar hyperlordosis activated their GMAX sooner (P = .02) during the SLJL. Athletes with normal lumbar lordosis had more activity in their GMED muscle (P = .001) in the descending phase of the single-leg squat task and a higher VMO:VL (P = .01) at the moment after the foot contact during the SLJL. Conclusion: The altered activation of GMAX, GMED, VMO, VL, and VMO:VL can reveal the role of lumbar hyperlordosis in the knee and hip muscles’ alteration in athletes. Further study is needed to identify whether these alterations in the hip and knee muscles contribute to injury in athletes.