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  • Author: Raoul F. Reiser II x
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Raoul F. Reiser II, Michael L. Peterson and Jeffrey P. Broker

While the recumbent cycling position has become common for high-performance human-powered vehicles, questions still remain as to the influence of familiarity on recumbent cycling, the optimal riding position, and how recumbent cycling positions compare to the standard cycling position (SCP). Eight recumbent-familiar cyclists and 10 recreational control cyclists were compared using the 30-s Wingate test in 5 recumbent positions as well as the SCP. For the recumbent positions, hip position was maintained 15° below the bottom bracket while the backrest was altered to investigate body configuration angle (BCA: the angle between the bottom bracket, hip, and a marker at mid-torso) changes from 100° to 140° in 10° increments. Between-groups analysis found that only 4 of the 126 analyzed parameters differed significantly, with all trends in the same direction. Therefore both groups were combined for further analysis. Whole-group peak power (14.6 W/kg body mass) and average power (9.9 and 9.8 W/kg body mass, respectively) were greatest in the 130° and 140° BCA positions, with power dropping off as BCA decreased through 100° (peak = 12.4 W/kg body mass; avg. = 9.0 W/kg body mass). Power output in the SCP (peak = 14.6 W/kg body mass; avg. = 9.7 W/kg body mass) was similar to that produced in the 130° and 140° recumbent BCA. Average hip and ankle angles increased (became more extended/ plantar-flexed), 36° and 10°, respectively, with recumbent BCA, while knee angles remained constant. The lower extremity kinematics of the 130° and 140° BCA were most similar to those of the SCP. However, SCP hip and knee joints were slightly extended and the ankle joint was slightly plantar-flexed compared to these two recumbent positions, even though the BCA of the SCP was not significantly different. These findings suggest: (a) the amount of recumbent familiarity in this study did not produce changes in power output or kinematics; (b) BCA is a major determinant of power output; and (c) recumbent-position anaerobic power output matches that of the SCP when BCA is maintained, even though lower extremity kinematics may be altered.

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Thomas M. Stephens II, Brooke R. Lawson, Dale E. DeVoe and Raoul F. Reiser II

Expectations may be for both legs to function identically during single- and double-leg vertical jumps. However, several reasons might prevent this from occurring. The goals of this investigation were twofold: assess the presence of side-to-side jump height differences during single-leg jumps in a homogenous group of healthy subjects and determine if those with a jump height asymmetry possessed consistent biomechanical differences during single- and double-leg jumps. Thirteen men and 12 women with competitive volleyball experience volunteered for the study. Significance was assessed at p < 0.05. The men jumped significantly higher than the women in all conditions and possessed differences in several anthropometric, kinematic, and kinetic parameters. Based on a three-jump average, all subjects had one leg that they could jump higher with (the dominant leg, DL). The men generated significantly greater maximum ground reaction forces and ankle joint powers on their DL whereas the women had no differences during the single-leg jumps. The only side-to-side differences that existed during the double-leg jumps were in the average ground reaction forces during propulsion. These findings suggest that equality of single-leg jump performance is the exception rather than the norm, with identification of consistent biomechanical attributes difficult within a group. Furthermore, any differences are not likely to cross over to other tasks, with men and women utilizing slightly different jump techniques.

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Roger J. Paxton, Caitlin Feldman-Kothe, Megan K. Trabert, Leah N. Hitchcock, Raoul F. Reiser II and Brian L. Tracy

Introduction:

The purpose was to determine the effect of peripheral neuropathy (PN) on motor output variability for ankle muscles of older adults, and the relation between ankle motor variability and postural stability in PN patients.

Methods:

Older adults with (O-PN) and without PN (O), and young adults (Y) underwent assessment of standing postural stability and ankle muscle force steadiness.

Results:

O-PN displayed impaired ankle muscle force control and postural stability compared with O and Y groups. For O-PN, the amplitude of plantarflexor force fluctuations was moderately correlated with postural stability under no-vision conditions (r = .54, p = .01).

Discussion:

The correlation of variations in ankle force with postural stability in PN suggests a contribution of ankle muscle dyscontrol to the postural instability that impacts physical function for older adults with PN.