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  • Author: Ilse Jonkers x
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Jeroen Vrints, Erwin Koninckx, Marc Van Leemputte and Ilse Jonkers

Saddle position affects mechanical variables during submaximal cycling, but little is known about its effect on mechanical performance during maximal cycling. Therefore, this study relates saddle position to experimentally obtained maximal power output and theoretically calculated moment generating capacity of hip, knee and ankle muscles during isokinetic cycling. Ten subjects performed maximal cycling efforts (5 s at 100 rpm) at different saddle positions varying ± 2 cm around the in literature suggested optimal saddle position (109% of inner leg length), during which crank torque and maximal power output were determined. In a subgroup of 5 subjects, lower limb kinematics were additionally recorded during submaximal cycling at the different saddle positions. A decrease in maximal power output was found for lower saddle positions. Recorded changes in knee kinematics resulted in a decrease in moment generating capacity of biceps femoris, rectus femoris and vastus intermedius at the knee. No differences in muscle moment generating capacity were found at hip and ankle. Based on these results we conclude that lower saddle positions are less optimal to generate maximal power output, as it mainly affects knee joint kinematics, compromising mechanical performance of major muscle groups acting at the knee.

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Laura Jonker, Marije T. Elferink-Gemser, Ilse M. de Roos and Chris Visscher

Reflection is considered a key factor in expert learning and refers to the extent to which individuals are able to appraise what they have learned and to integrate these experiences into future actions, thereby maximizing performance improvements. We assessed the relation between self-reported reflection at baseline and attainment (i.e., international vs. national level) 2.5 years later in 52 elite youth athletes. A Mann-Whitney U test showed that those who became senior internationals scored highest on reflection during their junior years compared with those who only attained senior national status. More specifically, athletes who made the transition from junior national to senior international level had higher reflection scores than their peers who did not reach international status and had similar scores to those who were internationals as juniors. These results emphasize the value of reflection in elite youth athletes to attaining senior international status later in development.

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Susana Meireles, Neil D. Reeves, Richard K. Jones, Colin R. Smith, Darryl G. Thelen and Ilse Jonkers

Medial knee loading during stair negotiation in individuals with medial knee osteoarthritis has only been reported in terms of joint moments, which may underestimate the knee loading. This study assessed knee contact forces (KCF) and contact pressures during different stair negotiation strategies. Motion analysis was performed in 5 individuals with medial knee osteoarthritis (52.8 [11.0] y) and 8 healthy subjects (51.0 [13.4] y) while ascending and descending a staircase. KCF and contact pressures were calculated using a multibody knee model while performing step-over-step at controlled and self-selected speed, and step-by-step strategies. At controlled speed, individuals with osteoarthritis showed decreased peak KCF during stair ascent but not during stair descent. Osteoarthritis patients showed higher trunk rotations in frontal and sagittal planes than controls. At lower self-selected speed, patients also presented reduced medial KCF during stair descent. While performing step-by-step, medial contact pressures decreased in osteoarthritis patients during stair descent. Osteoarthritis patients reduced their speed and increased trunk flexion and lean angles to reduce KCF during stair ascent. These trunk changes were less safe during stair descent where a reduced speed was more effective. Individuals should be recommended to use step-over-step during stair ascent and step-by-step during stair descent to reduce medial KCF.

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Antoine Falisse, Sam Van Rossom, Johannes Gijsbers, Frans Steenbrink, Ben J.H. van Basten, Ilse Jonkers, Antonie J. van den Bogert and Friedl De Groote

Musculoskeletal modeling and simulations have become popular tools for analyzing human movements. However, end users are often not aware of underlying modeling and computational assumptions. This study investigates how these assumptions affect biomechanical gait analysis outcomes performed with Human Body Model and the OpenSim gait2392 model. The authors compared joint kinematics, kinetics, and muscle forces resulting from processing data from 7 healthy adults with both models. Although outcome variables had similar patterns, there were statistically significant differences in joint kinematics (maximal difference: 9.8° [1.5°] in sagittal plane hip rotation), kinetics (maximal difference: 0.36 [0.10] N·m/kg in sagittal plane hip moment), and muscle forces (maximal difference: 8.51 [1.80] N/kg for psoas). These differences might be explained by differences in hip and knee joint center locations up to 2.4 (0.5) and 1.9 (0.2) cm in the posteroanterior and inferosuperior directions, respectively, and by the offset in pelvic reference frames of about 10° around the mediolateral axis. The choice of model may not influence the conclusions in clinical settings, where the focus is on interpreting deviations from the reference data, but it will affect the conclusions of mechanical analyses in which the goal is to obtain accurate estimates of kinematics and loading.