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  • Author: Loren Z.F. Chiu x
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Stacy E. Stamm and Loren Z.F. Chiu

When the rear- and forefoot are constrained, calcaneal plantar flexion may occur, deforming the longitudinal arch. Previous research has reported calcaneal motion relative to the tibia or forefoot; these joint rotations may not accurately describe rotation of the calcaneus alone. This investigation: (1) characterized the calcaneus and leg segment and ankle joint rotations during stance in gait, and (2) described the range of calcaneal plantar flexion in different structural arch types. Men (n = 14) and women (n = 16) performed gait in a motion analysis laboratory. From heel strike to heel off, the leg rotated forward while the calcaneus plantar flexed. Before foot flat, calcaneal plantar flexion was greater than forward leg rotation, resulting in ankle plantar flexion. After foot flat, forward leg rotation was greater than calcaneal plantar flexion, resulting in ankle dorsiflexion. Structural arch type was classified using the longitudinal arch angle. The range of calcaneal plantar flexion from foot flat to heel off was small in low (−2° to −8°), moderate in high (−3° to −12°), and large in normal (−2° to −20°) structural arches. Calcaneal plantar flexion in gait during midstance may reflect functional arch characteristics, which vary depending on structural arch type.

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Loren Z.F. Chiu and Amy N. Moolyk

Joint kinematics differ between jump and drop landings and there is evidence that segment kinematics may also be different. The purpose of this research was to compare lower extremity segment kinematics for jump and drop landings, and to examine if multiple days of practice would influence these kinematics. Men (n = 9) and women (n = 15) performed 4 sessions of jump and drop landings (40 cm and 60 cm) in a motion-capture laboratory. Segment kinematics at initial contact, foot flat, and peak knee flexion were compared between landing types and across visits. At initial contact, foot plantar flexion was greater in jump versus drop landings (P < .05). At initial contact and foot flat, forward leg inclination and pelvis flexion were greater in jump landing (P < .05), while thigh flexion was greater in drop landings (P > .05). The differences in leg and thigh angles at initial contact and foot flat altered lower extremity posture. These results are in contrast to a previous study; this suggests that drop landing can be modified to have the same mechanics as jump landing. As practice did not influence drop landing mechanics (P > .05), specific control strategies and instructions need to be identified.

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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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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, Brian K. Schilling, Andrew C. Fry and Lawrence W. Weiss

Displacement-based measurement systems are becoming increasingly popular for assessment of force expression variables during resistance exercise. Typically a linear position transducer (LPT) is attached to the barbell to measure displacement and a double differentiation technique is used to determine acceleration. Force is calculated as the product of mass and acceleration. Despite the apparent utility of these devices, validity data are scarce. To determine whether LPT can accurately estimate vertical ground reaction forces, two men and four women with moderate to extensive resistance training experience performed concentric-only (CJS) and rebound (RJS) jump squats, two sessions of each type in random order. CJS or RJS were performed with 30%, 50%, and 70% one-repetition maximum parallel back squat 5 minutes following a warm-up and again after a 10-min rest. Displacement was measured via LPT and acceleration was calculated using the finite-difference technique. Force was estimated from the weight of the lifter-barbell system and propulsion force from the lifter-barbell system. Vertical ground reaction force was directly measured with a single-component force platform. Two-way random average-measure intraclass correlations (ICC) were used to assess the reliability of obtained measures and compare the measurements obtained via each method. High reliability (ICC > 0.70) was found for all CJS variables across the load-spectrum. RJS variables also had high ICC except for time parameters for early force production. All variables were significantly (p < 0.01) related between LPT and force platform methods with no indication of systematic bias. The LPT appears to be a valid method of assessing force under these experimental conditions.