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  • Author: Robert S. Thiebaud x
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Takashi Abe, Jeremy P. Loenneke, Robert S. Thiebaud and Mark Loftin

Context: Studies developed the frail elderly handgrip strength (HGS) diagnostic criteria using multiple types of handgrip dynamometers. If different handgrip dynamometers report different values, then this would have the potential to misclassify people into the wrong diagnostic category. Objective: To examine the characteristics of HGS measured by 2 standard handgrip dynamometers and to investigate the influence of hand size on HGS. Setting: University research laboratory. Participants: A total of 87 young and middle-aged adults between the ages of 20 and 60 years participated in this study. Main Outcome Measures: Standard methods of HGS measurements were used for hydraulic and Smedley spring-type dynamometers, although the participants were instructed to maintain an upright standing position in both tests. Results: Test–retest reliability of hydraulic and Smedley dynamometers provided comparable results to that observed with previous studies. However, the difference in HGS between the 2 dynamometers (Hydraulic–Smedley difference) was positively associated (r = .670, P < .001) with the mean of the 2 dynamometers. The participants who had relatively low HGS (at least <35 kg) produced similar HGS values when the 2 dynamometers were compared, whereas persons who had relatively higher HGS (at least >45 kg) produced greater strength values with the hydraulic compared with the Smedley. The hand and palm lengths were weakly correlated (r = .349 and r = .358, respectively, both Ps < .001) with the difference in HGS between the 2 dynamometers. Conclusions: Test–retest reliability of hydraulic and Smedley dynamometers provides comparable results to previous studies. However, the difference in HGS between the 2 dynamometers was positively associated with the mean of the 2 dynamometers. This Hydraulic–Smedley difference would not affect persons who have relatively low HGS (at least <35 kg), while when HGS is relatively high, the comparison between dynamometers should be done with caution.

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Robert S. Thiebaud, Takashi Abe, Jeremy P. Loenneke, Tyler Garcia, Yohan Shirazi and Ross McArthur

Context: Blood flow restriction (BFR) increases muscle size and strength when combined with low loads, but various methods are used to produce this stimulus. It is unclear how using elastic knee wraps can impact acute muscular responses compared with using nylon cuffs, where the pressure can be standardized. Objective: Investigate how elastic knee wraps compare with nylon cuffs and high-load (HL)/low-load (LL) resistance exercise. Design: A randomized cross-over experimental design using 6 conditions combined with unilateral knee extension. Setting: Human Performance Laboratory. Participants: A total of 9 healthy participants (males = 7 and females = 2) and had an average age of 22 (4) years. Intervention: LL (30% of 1-repetition maximum [1-RM]), HL (70% 1-RM), BFR at 40% of arterial occlusion pressure (BFR-LOW), BFR at 80% of arterial occlusion pressure (BFR-HIGH), elastic knee wraps stretched by 2 in (PRACTICAL-LOW), and elastic knee wraps stretched to a new length equivalent to 85% of thigh circumference (PRACTICAL-HIGH). BFR and practical conditions used 30% 1-RM. Main Outcome Measures: Muscle thickness, maximum voluntary isometric contraction, and electromyography amplitude. Bayesian statistics evaluated differences in changes between conditions using the Bayes factor (BF10), and median and 95% credible intervals were reported from the posterior distribution. Results: Total repetitions completed were greater for BFR-LOW versus PRACTICAL-HIGH (BF10 = 3.2, 48.6 vs 44 repetitions) and greater for PRACTICAL-LOW versus BFR-HIGH (BF10 = 717, 51.8 vs 36.3 repetitions). Greater decreases in changes in maximum voluntary isometric contraction were found in PRACTICAL-HIGH versus HL (BF10 = 1035, ∼103 N) and LL (BF10 = 45, ∼66 N). No differences in changes in muscle thickness were found between LL versus PRACTICAL-LOW/PRACTICAL-HIGH conditions (BF10 = 0.32). Greater changes in electromyography amplitude were also found for BFR-LOW versus PRACTICAL-HIGH condition (BF10 = 6.13, ∼12%), but no differences were noted between the other BFR conditions. Conclusions: Overall, elastic knee wraps produce a more fatiguing stimulus than LL or HL conditions and might be used as an alternative to pneumatic cuffs that are traditionally used for BFR exercise.