The purpose of this case study was to investigate reflex inhibition of the quadriceps femoris in a subject with postsurgical edema of the left knee. The subject was a 45-year-old male with a traumatic knee injury with resultant edema who underwent elective arthroscopic surgery. Reflex inhibition was assessed by H-reflex elicitation in the femoral nerve and surface electromyography of the quadriceps. To assess the degree of edema, direct circumferential measurements were taken. On the first presurgical visit, the left knee demonstrated mild edema with a decrease in H-reflex amplitudes. Two days after surgery, a further reduction in amplitudes and more swelling were demonstrated followed by an increase in amplitudes and a reduction in edema on the 28th postoperative day. These findings document a relationship between reflex inhibition and joint swelling that was previously described in experimental models where joint edema was simulated.
Andrew L. McDonough and Joseph P. Weir
Loree L. Wagner, Sharon A. Evans, Joseph P. Weir, Terry J. Housh and Glen O. Johnson
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of grip width, chest depth, limb lengths, and bar path on the performance of a maximal bench press. Subjects were 24 experienced male weight trainers. Bench press performance was assessed at six different grip widths (G1–G6). Repeated-measures ANOVA with Tukey post hoc comparisons revealed that bench press strength values at the two moderate grip widths (G3 and G4) were significantly greater than either the narrow or wide grip widths. First-order partial correlations showed no significant relationship between strength values and anthropometric variables when adjusted for differences in body weight. Standard two-dimensional cinematographic procedures were used to film a subsample (n = 6) while bench pressing using G1, G3, and G6. The results of the statistical comparisons of bar path indicated that as grip width increased, the horizontal and vertical distance from the bar to the shoulder decreased.
Terry J. Housh, Glen O. Johnson, Dona J. Housh, Jeffrey R. Stout, Joseph P. Weir, Loree L. Weir and Joan M. Eckerson
The purpose of the present study was to examine age-related changes in isokinetic leg flexion and extension peak torque (PT), PT/body weight (PT/BW), and PT/fat-free weight (PT/FFW) in young wrestlers. Male wrestlers (N = 108; age M ± SD = 11.3 ± 1.5 years) volunteered to be measured for peak torque at 30, 180, and 300° · s−1. In addition, underwater weighing was performed to determine body composition characteristics. The sample was divided into six age groups (8.1−8.9, n = 10; 9.0−9.9, n= 11; 10.0−10.9, n = 25; 11.0−11.9, n = 22; 12.0−12.9, n = 28; 13.0−13.9, n = 12), and repeated measures ANOVAs with Tukey post hoc comparisons showed increases across age for PT, PT/BW, and PT/FFW. The results of this study indicated that there were age-related increases in peak torque that could not be accounted for by changes in BW or FFW. It is possible that either an increase in muscle mass per unit of FFW, neural maturation, or both, contributes to the increase in strength across age in young male athletes.
Travis W. Beck, Terry J. Housh, Glen O. Johnson, Joseph P. Weir, Joel T. Cramer, Jared W. Coburn and Moh H. Malek
This study compared the patterns of mechanomyographic (MMG) amplitude and mean power frequency vs. torque relationships in men and women during isometric muscle actions of the biceps brachii. Seven men (mean age 23.9 ± 3.5 yrs) and 8 women (mean 21.0 ± 1.3 yrs) performed submaximal to maximal isometric muscle actions of the dominant forearm flexors. Following determination of the isometric maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), they randomly performed submaximal step muscle actions in 10% increments from 10% to 90% MVC. Polynomial regression analyses indicated that the MMG amplitude vs. isometric torque relationship for the men was best fit with a cubic model (R 2 = 0.983), where MMG amplitude increased slightly from 10% to 20% MVC, increased rapidly from 20% to 80% MVC, and plateaued from 80% to 100% MVC. For the women, MMG amplitude increased linearly (r 2 = 0.949) from 10% to 100% MVC. Linear models also provided the best fit for the MMG mean power frequency vs. isometric torque relationship in both the men (r 2 = 0.813) and women (r 2 = 0.578). The results demonstrated gender differences in the MMG amplitude vs. isometric torque relationship, but similar torque-related patterns for MMG mean power frequency. These findings suggested that the plateau in MMG amplitude at high levels of isometric torque production for the biceps brachii in the men, but not the women, may have been due to greater isometric torque, muscle stiffness, and/or intramuscular fluid pressure in the men, rather than to differences in motor unit activation strategies for modulating isometric torque production.