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William E. Prentice

Various techniques of manual therapy are available to the sports therapist supervising a rehabilitation program. Joint mobilization and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) techniques can be effectively used in rehabilitation of the injured knee for achieving normal joint range of motion and for strengthening the weak components of a movement pattern. Joint mobilization is used to restore normal accessory motion to the joint. The PNF strengthening techniques are used for improving normal physiological motion. These manual therapy techniques allow the sports therapist to concentrate on the rotational component of motion at the knee joint, which is often neglected in rehabilitation programs.

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Bruce Elliott and Joanne Mitchell

Two-dimensional high-speed photography was used to compare the performances of six elite gymnasts on a Yurchenko vault and two associated teaching drills. Analysis of variance with repeated measures was used to test the significance of the differences between those variables common to both drills and the vault, while a one-way analysis of variance was used to test for differences between biomechanical variables common to only one drill and the vault. Results indicated that in general the variables common to each drill and the vault were similar in magnitude. However, a number of kinematic characteristics recorded in the drills differed from those recorded for the vault both in this study and from data reported in the literature for international level performers. These included horizontal velocity at takeoff from beat board; knee joint, lower trunk, midtrunk, and head/neck segments at takeoff from beat board; knee joint angle and vertical velocity of CG at impact with horse; vertical velocity, trunk angles, and ankle joint angle at takeoff from horse; horizontal displacement of CG while hands were in contact with horse; and the time the hands were in contact with horse. Variables identified as being important for success in the vault were also reported.

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Sara L. Arena, Kelsey McLaughlin, Anh-Dung Nguyen, James M. Smoliga and Kevin R. Ford

Athletic individuals may differ in body segment inertial parameter (BSIP) estimates due to differences in body composition, and this may influence calculation of joint kinetics. The purposes of this study were to (1) compare BSIPs predicted by the method introduced by de Leva1 with DXA-derived BSIPs in collegiate female soccer players, and (2) examine the effects of these BSIP estimation methods on joint moment and power calculations during a drop vertical jump (DVJ). Twenty female NCAA Division I soccer players were recruited. BSIPs of the shank and thigh (mass, COM location, and radius of gyration) were determined using de Leva’s method and analysis of whole-body DXA scans. These estimates were used to determine peak knee joint moments and power during the DVJ. Compared with DXA, de Leva’s method located the COM more distally in the shank (P = .008) and more proximally in the thigh (P < .001), and the radius of gyration of the thigh to be further from the thigh COM (P < .001). All knee joint moment and power measures were similar between methods. These findings suggest that BSIP estimation may vary between methods, but the impact on joint moment calculations during a dynamic task is negligible.

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Mark A. King and Maurice R. Yeadon

This paper describes a method for defining the maximum torque that can be produced at a joint from isovelocity torque measurements on an individual. The method is applied to an elite male gymnast in order to calculate subject-specific joint torque parameters for the knee joint. Isovelocity knee extension torque data were collected for the gymnast using a two-repetition concentric-eccentric protocol over a 75° range of crank motion at preset crank angular velocities ranging from 20 to 250°s–1. During these isovelocity movements, differences of up to 35° were found between the angle of the dynamometer crank and the knee joint angle of the participant. In addition, faster preset crank angular velocities gave smaller ranges of isovelocity motion for both the crank and joint. The simulation of an isovelocity movement at a joint angular velocity of 150°s–1 showed that, for realistic series elastic component extensions, the angular velocity of the joint can be assumed to be the same as the angular velocity of the contractile component during most of the isovelocity trial. Fitting an 18-parameter exponential function to experimental isovelocity joint torque/ angle/ angular velocity data resulted in a surface that was well behaved over the complete range of angular velocities and within the specified range of joint angles used to calculate the surface.

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Jason G. Gallucci and John H. Challis

This study examined the moment-producing capabilities of the gastrocnemius during isokinetic knee flexion tasks. Nine healthy men were tested using a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer. Each one completed 3 maximum repetitions at 3 angular velocities, 30, 75, and 150º/s, with his ankle braced in either full dorsiflexion or full plantar flexion. A computer model was used to simulate the experimental tasks. Experimentally, the moment produced at the knee joint with the ankle dorsiflexed was significantly higher than the moment with the ankle plantar-flexed at all 3 angular velocities, p < 0.05. This suggests that lengthening the gastrocnemius allowed for greater contribution of the gastrocnemius to the total moment produced at the knee during isokinetic knee flexions. The simulations supported the experimental data and suggested that, with the ankle dorsiflexed, the gastrocnemius acts on a more favorable part of the muscle’s force-length curve compared with the plantar-flexed condition. The results of the experimental work, along with the simulations, demonstrated that lengthening the gastrocnemius significantly increased the moment produced at the knee joint during isokinetic knee flexion tasks. These results have implications for instructions given to persons who perform leg curls for muscle strengthening, and for the design of knee flexion exercise machines.

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Kristian M. O’Connor, Carl Johnson and Lauren C. Benson

The function of the hamstrings in protecting the ACL is not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to determine how landing knee mechanics were affected by hamstrings fatigue, analyzed with principal components analysis (PCA). Knee joint mechanics were collected during single-leg stride landings that were followed by lateral and vertical jumps. An isokinetic fatigue protocol was employed to reduce hamstrings strength by 75% at the cessation of the exercise protocol. On the landing test day, participants performed the stride landing maneuvers before and after the fatigue protocol. PCA was performed on the landing knee joint angle, moment, and power waveforms, and MANOVAs were conducted on the retained PCs of each waveform (P < .05). On the strength test day, hamstrings strength recovery was assessed with an identical fatigue protocol followed by strength assessment ~75 s after the cessation of exercise. Pre- and postexercise hamstrings strength on this day was assessed with a dependent t test (P < .05). The hamstrings strength remained significantly reduced by ~8% postexercise (75 s). For stride landings followed by vertical jumps, there were significantly reduced knee flexion angles, extensor moments, and energy absorption. This was indicative of a stiffer landing strategy postfatigue, which has been associated with increased ACL loading.

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Liana Tennant, David Kingston, Helen Chong and Stacey Acker

Occupational kneeling is associated with an increased risk for the development of knee osteoarthritis. Previous work studying occupational kneeling has neglected to account for the fact that in many industrial settings, workers are required to wear steeltoe work boots. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of work boot wear on the center of pressure location of the ground reaction force, knee joint angle, and magnitude of the ground reaction force in a kneeling posture. Fifteen healthy males were fit with 3D motion capture markers and knelt statically over a force plate embedded in the floor. Using the tibial tuberosity as the point of reference, the center of pressure in shod condition was shifted significantly medially (on average 0.009 m [P = .005]) compared with the barefoot condition. The knee was significantly less internally rotated (shod: –12.5° vs. barefoot: –17.4° [P = .009]) and the anterior/posterior shear force was significantly greater in the shod condition (shod: 6.0% body weight vs. barefoot: 1.5% body weight [P = .002]). Therefore, wearing work boots alters the kneeling posture compared with barefoot kneeling, potentially loading different surfaces of the knee, as well as altering knee joint moments.

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Andrew W. Smith

The aims of the present study were to quantify lower limb kinetics and kinematics during walking and slow jogging of below-knee amputee athletes and to demonstrate the usefulness of the additional information provided by kinetic analyses as compared to that of kinematic assessments alone. Kinematic and force platform data from three amputee subjects were collected while the subjects walked and jogged in the laboratory. Results indicated that neither prosthesis (SACH and an energy-storing carbon fiber or ESCF) emulated the kinetics or the kinematics of so-called normal gait during walking. While the knee joint on the prosthetic side clearly tended to be biased toward extension during stance, the knee flexors were dominant and acted concentrically during this phase of the gait cycle. An examination of prosthetic limb hip and knee joint kinetics at both cadences revealed the functional role played by the hamstrings early in stance. The results indicated that with increasing cadence, less variability, measured by coefficients of variation, was evident in the kinematic data while the opposite was true for the kinetics.

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Wolfgang Baumann, Volker Gross, Karl Quade, Peter Galbierz and Ansgar Schwirtz

The purpose of this study was (a) to describe the snatch technique in terms of kinematic and external and internal kinetic parameters, and (b) to compare the results for athletes of different groups and weight categories. By means of three-dimensional film analysis and measurements of ground reaction forces during the 1985 World Championships in Sweden, it was possible to analyze the spatial movements and to calculate joint moments of force in each leg. Concerning the kinematics, a snatch technique starting with a strong pull toward the lifter could be established. The most interesting kinetic results are that the knee joint moments are relatively small (one third of the hip joint moments of force) and do not correlate very well with the total load. The best lifters seem able to limit the knee joint moment by precise control of the knee position with respect to the ground reaction force. Altogether, the results concerning the internal kinetic parameters question the logic of the classical division of the lifting technique into phases according to external kinetic parameters.

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Hiroshi Arakawa, Akinori Nagano, Dean C. Hay and Hiroaki Kanehisa

The current study aimed to investigate the effect of ankle restriction on the coordination of vertical jumping and discuss the influence of energy transfer through m. gastrocnemius on the multijoint movement. Eight participants performed two types of vertical jumps: a normal squat jump, and a squat jump with restricted ankle joint movement. Mechanical outputs were calculated using an inverse dynamics analysis. Custom-made shoes were used to restrict plantar flexion, resulting in significantly (P < .001) reduced maximum power and work at the ankle joint to below 2% and 3%, while maintaining natural range of motion at the hip and knee. Based on the comparison between the two types of jumps, we determined that the ankle restriction increased (P < .001) the power (827 ± 346 W vs. 1276 ± 326 W) and work (92 ± 34 J vs. 144 ± 36 J) at the knee joint. A large part of the enhanced output at the knee is assumed to be due to ankle restriction, which results in the nullification of energy transport via m. gastrocnemius; that is, reduced contribution of the energy transfer with ankle restriction appeared as augmentation at the knee joint.