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Timothy C. Mauntel, Eric G. Post, Darin A. Padua, and David R. Bell

A disparity exists between the rates of male and female lower extremity injuries. One factor that may contribute to this disparity is high-risk biomechanical patterns that are commonly displayed by females. It is unknown what biomechanical differences exist between males and females during an overhead squat. This study compared lower extremity biomechanics during an overhead squat and ranges of motion between males and females. An electromagnetic motion tracking system interfaced with a force platform was used to quantify peak lower extremity kinematics and kinetics during the descent phase of each squat. Range of motion measurements were assessed with a standard goniometer. Differences between male and female kinematics, kinetics, and ranges of motion were identified with t tests. Males displayed greater peak knee valgus angle, peak hip flexion angle, peak vertical ground reaction forces, and peak hip extension moments. Males also displayed less active ankle dorsiflexion with the knee extended and hip internal and external rotation than females. No other differences were observed. The biomechanical differences between males and females during the overhead squat may result from differences in lower extremity ranges of motion. Therefore, sex-specific injury prevention programs should be developed to improve biomechanics and ranges of motion.

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Sean A. Jones, Derek N. Pamukoff, Timothy C. Mauntel, J. Troy Blackburn, and Joseph B. Myers

Context: Verbal and tactile feedback (VTF) during rehabilitation exercises can increase muscle activation, thus improving the therapeutic benefits. However, it is unclear which feedback method elicits the greatest electromyographic (EMG) amplitude. Objective: To determine if the addition of tactile to verbal feedback (VF) increases EMG amplitude of selected shoulder musculature during scapular plane elevation (Ys), shoulder horizontal abduction with external rotation (Ts), and scapular retraction with external rotation (Ws). Design: Repeated-measures cross-over design. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Participants: A total of 30 physically active adults volunteered for this study—age = 20.23 (1.25) years; height = 1.71 (0.073) m; and mass = 70.11 (15.14) kg. Interventions: Electromyography of the serratus anterior; upper, middle, and lower trapezii; and anterior and posterior deltoids was recorded during Ys, Ts, and Ws with VTF and VF alone during separate testing sessions. Participants completed baseline trials without feedback, then received VTF and VF across 2 counterbalanced sessions. Main Outcome Measures: Difference scores were calculated between prefeedback and postfeedback interventions, and the difference score between baseline measurements was used as a control. One-way analysis of variance of the difference scores was used to evaluate the influence of VTF and VF on EMG amplitude during Ys, Ts, and Ws. Results: There was a significant difference between conditions for EMG amplitude of the middle trapezius (F 2,28 = 4.09, P = .02) and serratus anterior (F 2,28 = 3.91, P = .03) during Ys, the middle trapezius (F 2,28 = 7.82, P = .001) during Ws, and the upper (F 2,28 = 3.61, P = .03) and middle trapezii (F 2,28 = 5.81, P = .01) during Ts. Post hoc testing revealed that both feedback conditions elicited greater EMG amplitude compared with no feedback, but there were no significant differences between the feedback conditions. Conclusions: The addition of tactile feedback to VF does not increase EMG amplitude compared with VF alone. This study indicates that feedback, regardless of type, is more beneficial than providing no feedback, for increasing EMG amplitude.

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Timothy C. Mauntel, Barnett S. Frank, Rebecca L. Begalle, J. Troy Blackburn, and Darin A. Padua

A greater knee valgus angle is a risk factor for lower extremity injuries. Visually observed medial knee displacement is used as a proxy for knee valgus motion during movement assessments in an attempt to identify individuals at heightened risk for injury. The validity of medial knee displacement as an indicator of valgus motion has yet to be determined during a single-leg squat. This study compared three-dimensional knee and hip angles between participants who displayed medial knee displacement (MKD group) during a single-leg squat and those who did not (control group). Participants completed five single-leg squats. An electromagnetic motion tracking system was used to quantify peak knee and hip joint angles during the descent phase of each squat. MANOVA identified a difference between the MKD and control group kinematics. ANOVA post hoc testing revealed greater knee valgus angle in the MKD (12.86 ± 5.76) compared with the control (6.08 ± 5.23) group. There were no other differences between groups. Medial knee displacement is indicative of knee valgus motion; however, it is not indicative of greater knee or hip rotation, or hip adduction. These data indicate that clinicians can accurately identify individuals with greater knee valgus angle through visually observed medial knee displacement.

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Maria K. Talarico, Robert C. Lynall, Timothy C. Mauntel, Erin B. Wasserman, Darin A. Padua, and Jason P. Mihalik

Although single-leg squats are a common dynamic balance clinical assessment, little is known about the relationship between parameters that influence squat movement and postural control performance. The objective of this study was to determine the relationships between squat parameters (speed and depth) and postural control under single task and dual task. A total of 30 healthy college students performed single-leg squats under single task and dual task with Stroop. Random-intercepts generalized linear mixed models determined the effect of squat parameters on center of pressure (CoP) parameters. For each 1-cm·s−1 increase in squat speed, sway range (mediolateral: β = −0.03; anteroposterior: β = −0.05) and area (β = −0.25) decreased, whereas sway speed (mediolateral: β = 0.05; anteroposterior: β = 0.29; total: β = 0.29) increased. For each 1-cm increase in squat depth, sway range (mediolateral: β = 0.05; anteroposterior: β = 0.20) and area (β = 0.72) increased, whereas sway speed (anteroposterior: β = −0.14; total: β = −0.14) decreased. Compared with single task, the association between total and anteroposterior sway speed and squat speed was stronger under dual task. Clinicians and researchers should consider monitoring squat speed and depth when assessing dynamic balance during single-leg squats, as these parameters influence postural control, especially under dual task.