The purpose of this study was to examine the reliability of a new upper body medicine ball push-press (MBP-P) test. Twenty-three strength trained volunteers performed a series of supine MBP-P throws using loads representing 5% and10% of their 5RM bench press (5 repetitions at each load). Throws were performed on a force platform (2000 Hz), with medicine ball kinematic data collected using a high-speed motion capture (500 Hz). Testing was repeated after 7–10 days to quantify intertest reliability. Maximal force (Fmax), impulse at Fmax, time to Fmax, and maximum rate of force development (RFDmax) were all calculated from the force platform outputs, with maximum ball velocity (Velmax) and maximum ball acceleration (Accelmax) developed from the kinematic data. Reliability was assessed using intraclass correlation (ICC), coefficient of variation (%CV), and typical error. Medicine ball kinematic variables were more reliable (CV% = 2.6–5.3, ICC = 0.87–0.95) than the various force platform derived power variables (CV% = 7.9–26.7, ICC = 0.51–0.90). The MBP-P test produces reliable data and can be used to quantify many standard power based measures, with the key findings have implications for athletic populations requiring high velocity, light load upper body pushing power.
Mark G.L. Sayers and Stephen Bishop
Danielle P. Formosa, Mark Gregory Leigh Sayers and Brendan Burkett
This study explored and quantified gender differences in passive drag and instantaneous net drag force profile for elite backstroke swimmers (FINA points 938 ± 71). Nine female and ten male backstroke swimmers completed eight maximum speed trials. During the passive drag condition participants were towed at the speed achieved within the maximum effort backstroke swimming trials, while holding a supine stationary streamline position. The remaining trials, swimmers performed their natural swimming stroke, while attached to an assisted towing device. Male participant’s passive (P < .001) and mean net drag force (P < .001) were significantly higher compared with female participants. In addition, there were no significant differences by gender between either the minimum or maximum net drag forces produced during the left and right arm strokes. Instantaneous net drag force profiles demonstrated differences within and between individuals and genders. The swimmers who recorded the fastest speed also recorded the smallest difference in net drag force fluctuations. The instantaneous net drag force profile within elite backstroke swimming provides further insight into stroke technique of this sport.
Mark G.L. Sayers, Amanda L. Tweddle and Jessika Morris
This project assessed dynamic balance and stability in aged lawn bowlers during the delivery stride. Participants were divided into two groups: aged 65 years or less (n = 14) and aged over 65 years (n = 16). Standard balance-based center of pressure (CoP) and ground reaction force variables were recorded and a Dynamic Postural Stability Index (DPSI) was used for calculating during ten deliveries. None of the balance variables correlated significantly with age although years of bowling experience correlated with DPSI scores (r = -.42, P = .019). The over 65 group had significantly greater variance in the mediolateral CoP movements, with no other significant differences in balance or postural stability variables between groups. Analysis of covariance indicated that the DPSI data were influenced significantly by bowling experience regardless of age group. It was concluded that in older aged lawn bowlers, playing experience rather than age is a key determinant of balance control during the lawn bowls delivery action.
Alysha Hyde, Luke Hogarth, Mark Sayers, Emma Beckman, Mark J. Connick, Sean Tweedy and Brendan Burkett
To quantify the influence of the assistive pole, seat configuration, and upper-body and trunk strength on seated-throwing performance in athletes with a spinal-cord injury (SCI).
Ten Paralympic athletes competing in wheelchair rugby, basketball, or athletics (seated throws) participated in 2 randomized sessions: seated throwing and strength tests. Participants threw a club from a custom-built throwing chair, with and without a pole. 3D kinematic data were collected (150 Hz) for both conditions using standardized and self-selected seat configurations. Dominant and nondominant grip strength were measured using a dynamometer, and upper-body and trunk strength were measured using isometric contractions against a load cell.
Seated throwing with an assistive pole resulted in significantly higher hand speed at release than throwing without a pole (pole = 6.0 ± 1.5 m/s, no pole = 5.3 ± 1.5 m/s; P = .02). There was no significant difference in hand speed at release between standardized and self-selected seating configurations during seated throwing with or without an assistive pole. Grip strength (r = .59–.77), push/pull synergy (r = .81–.84), and trunk-flexion (r = .50–.58) strength measures showed large and significant correlations with hand speed at release during seated throwing with and without an assistive pole.
This study has demonstrated the importance of the pole for SCI athletes in seated throwing and defined the relationship between strength and seated-throwing performance, allowing us to better understand the activity of seated throws and provide measures for assessing strength that may be valid for evidence-based classification.
Anna C. Severin, Brendan J. Burkett, Mark R. McKean, Aaron N. Wiegand and Mark G.L. Sayers
This study examined the effect of water immersion on trunk and lower limb kinematics during squat exercises in older participants. A total of 24 active older adults (71.4 ± 5.4 years) performed squats and split squats on land and while partially submerged in water. Inertial sensors (100 Hz) were used to record trunk and lower body kinematics. Water immersion increased the squat depth (squat: p = .028, d = 0.63 and split squat: p = .005, d = 0.83) and reduced the trunk flexion range (squat: p = .006, d = 0.76 and split squat: p < .001, d = 1.35) during both exercises. In addition, water immersion increased the hip range of motion during the split squat (p = .002, d = 0.94). Waveform analyses also indicated differences in the timing of the movements. These results showed that water-based exercise generates a different exercise outcome and appears to provide an alternative option for older adults, enabling exercisers to perform these tasks in a manner not possible on land.
Kevin C. Deere, Kimberly Hannam, Jessica Coulson, Alex Ireland, Jamie S. McPhee, Charlotte Moss, Mark H. Edwards, Elaine Dennison, Cyrus Cooper, Adrian Sayers, Matthijs Lipperts, Bernd Grimm and Jon H. Tobias
Physical activity (PA) may need to produce high impacts to be osteogenic. The aim of this study was to identify threshold(s) for defining high impact PA for future analyses in the VIBE (Vertical Impact and Bone in the Elderly) study, based on home recordings with triaxial accelerometers. Recordings were obtained from 19 Master Athlete Cohort (MAC; mean 67.6 years) and 15 Hertfordshire Cohort Study (HCS; mean 77.7 years) participants. Data cleaning protocols were developed to exclude artifacts. Accelerations expressed in g units were categorized into three bands selected from the distribution of positive Y-axis peak accelerations. Data were available for 6.6 and 4.4 days from MAC and HCS participants respectively, with approximately 14 hr recording daily. Three-fold more 0.5−1.0g impacts were observed in MAC versus HCS, 20-fold more 1.0−1.5g impacts, and 140-fold more impacts ≥ 1.5g. Our analysis protocol successfully distinguishes PA levels in active and sedentary older individuals.