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Simon Avrillon, Boris Jidovtseff, François Hug and Gaël Guilhem

Purpose:

Muscle strengthening is commonly based on the use of isoinertial loading, whereas variable resistances such as pneumatic loading may be implemented to optimize training stimulus. The purpose of the current study was to determine the effect of the ratio between pneumatic and isoinertial resistance on the force–velocity relationship during ballistic movements.

Methods:

A total of 15 participants performed 2 concentric repetitions of ballistic bench-press movements with intention to throw the bar at 30%, 45%, 60%, 75%, and 90% of the maximal concentric repetition with 5 resistance ratios including 100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, or 0% of pneumatic resistance, the additional load being isoinertial. Force-, velocity-, and power-time patterns were assessed and averaged over the concentric phase to determine the force–velocity and power–velocity relationships for each resistance ratio.

Results:

Each 25% increase in the pneumatic part in the resistance ratio elicited higher movement velocity (+0.11 ± 0.03 m/s from 0% to 80% of the concentric phase) associated with lower force levels (–43.6 ± 15.2 N). Increased isoinertial part in the resistance ratio resulted in higher velocity toward the end of the movement (+0.23 ± 0.01 m/s from 90% to 100%).

Conclusions:

The findings show that the resistance ratio could be modulated to develop the acceleration phase and force toward the end of the concentric phase (pneumatic-oriented resistance). Inversely, isoinertial-oriented resistance should be used to develop maximal force and maximal power. Resistance modality could, therefore, be considered an innovative variable to modulate the training stimulus according to athletic purposes.

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Ali Jalalvand and Mehrdad Anbarian

decreases in muscle force producing capacity, but it also affects the muscles’ reaction time, movement coordination, precision of motor control, and change in proprioception performance, which resulted in impaired skeletal muscle function and a major risk factor for LEI. 15 Although few studies have focused

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Jean-Benoît Morin and Pierre Samozino

Recent studies have brought new insights into the evaluation of power-force-velocity profiles in both ballistic push-offs (eg, jumps) and sprint movements. These are major physical components of performance in many sports, and the methods the authors developed and validated are based on data that are now rather simple to obtain in field conditions (eg, body mass, jump height, sprint times, or velocity). The promising aspect of these approaches is that they allow for more individualized and accurate evaluation, monitoring, and training practices, the success of which is highly dependent on the correct collection, generation, and interpretation of athletes’ mechanical outputs. The authors therefore wanted to provide a practical vade mecum to sports practitioners interested in implementing these power-force-velocity–profiling approaches. After providing a summary of theoretical and practical definitions for the main variables, the authors first detail how vertical profiling can be used to manage ballistic push-off performance, with emphasis on the concept of optimal force–velocity profile and the associated force–velocity imbalance. Furthermore, they discuss these same concepts with regard to horizontal profiling in the management of sprinting performance. These sections are illustrated by typical examples from the authors’ practice. Finally, they provide a practical and operational synthesis and outline future challenges that will help further develop these approaches.

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AmirAli Jafarnezhadgero, Morteza Madadi-Shad, Christopher McCrum and Kiros Karamanidis

Human lower limbs contribute to locomotion in multiple ways; acting as springs, as force absorbing dampers, or as actuators ( Brown, O’Donovan, Hasselquist, Corner, & Schiffman, 2016 ; Raynor, Yi, Abernethy, & Jong, 2002 ). The progression of ground reaction forces (GRF) through the lower limbs

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Matt S. Stock and Brennan J. Thompson

We examined the means, medians, and variability for motor-unit interpulse intervals (IPIs) during voluntary, high force contractions. Eight men (mean age = 22 years) attempted to perform isometric contractions at 90% of their maximal voluntary contraction force while bipolar surface electromyographic (EMG) signals were detected from the vastus lateralis and vastus medialis muscles. Surface EMG signal decomposition was used to determine the recruitment thresholds and IPIs of motor units that demonstrated accuracy levels ≥ 96.0%. Motor units with high recruitment thresholds demonstrated longer mean IPIs, but the coefficients of variation were similar across all recruitment thresholds. Polynomial regression analyses indicated that for both muscles, the relationship between the means and standard deviations of the IPIs was linear. The majority of IPI histograms were positively skewed. Although low-threshold motor units were associated with shorter IPIs, the variability among motor units with differing recruitment thresholds was comparable.

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Mark L. Latash, Jae Kun Shim, Fan Gao and Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky

We review a series of studies that show stabilization of the moment of a couple produced by a set of digits in many maximal and submaximal accurate force production tasks that have no requirements for the moment. In particular, an unusual and novel multi-digit force production task shows stabilization of the total moment while the total force requires extensive practice to be stabilized. Similar results were obtained in persons with Down syndrome during easier tasks. During prehension, changes in digit forces and coordinates of their points of application suggest the presence of two multi-digit synergies whose purpose is to assure a certain grip force and a certain total moment, respectively. Elderly persons show impaired production of both maximal and submaximal moments that goes beyond their documented loss of muscle force. We conclude that moment production (keeping rotational equilibrium) is a central constraint in a variety of multi-digit tasks that has received little attention. Analysis of digit interaction for moment production during handwriting could signify a major step towards understanding the control of this action.

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Matthew Brodie, Alan Walmsley and Wyatt Page

A fusion integration algorithm is used to estimate the one-dimensional center of mass (COM) trajectory from force platform data. The resulting COM trajectory combines the best attributes of several established algorithms used to estimate the COM trajectory, and it appears to have the advantage of being robust, accurate, continuous in its higher derivatives, and fast to obtain. In current research projects, variations of the fusion integration algorithm have been adapted by the authors for the analysis of postural balance and the sensing of limb orientations with inertial measurement units.

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Kazunori Nosaka and Priscilla M. Clarkson

This study was done to determine whether eccentric exercise that causes muscle damage will produce an increase in plasma levels of zinc. Changes in total plasma zinc concentration (Zn) were examined following an eccentric and concentric exercise of the forearm flexors. Eight female subjects performed 24 maximal concentric actions (CON) with one arm and 10-14 days later performed 24 maximal eccentric actions (ECC) with the other arm. Maximal isometric force, elbow joint angles at a relaxed (RANG) and flexed position (FANG), muscle soreness, and plasma creatine kinase activity (CK) were measured as indicators of muscle damage. Zn levels were determined at the same time as CK. Maximal isometric force, RANG, FANG, and muscle soreness showed large changes after ECC but little if any change after CON. CK increased significantly after ECC but did not change after CON. Neither ECC nor CON showed significant changes in Zn following exercise. If: is concluded that exercise-induced muscle damage does not appear to produce an increase in plasma zinc levels.

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Daniel Feeney, Steven J. Stanhope, Thomas W. Kaminski, Anthony Machi and Slobodan Jaric

The aims of the current study were to explore the pattern of the force–velocity (F–V) relationship of leg muscles, evaluate the reliability and concurrent validity of the obtained parameters, and explore the load associated changes in the muscle work and power output. Subjects performed maximum vertical countermovement jumps with a vest ranging 0–40% of their body mass. The ground reaction force and leg joint kinematics and kinetics were recorded. The data revealed a strong and approximately linear F–V relationship (individual correlation coefficients ranged from 0.78–0.93). The relationship slopes, F- and V-intercepts, and the calculated power were moderately to highly reliable (0.67 < ICC < 0.91), while the concurrent validity F- and V-intercepts, and power with respect to the directly measured values, was (on average) moderate. Despite that a load increase was associated with a decrease in both the countermovement depth and absolute power, the absolute work done increased, as well as the relative contribution of the knee work. The obtained findings generally suggest that the loaded vertical jumps could not only be developed into a routine method for testing the capacities of leg muscles, but also reveal the mechanisms of adaptation of multijoint movements to different loading conditions.

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Antti Mero and Paavo V. Komi

This study was undertaken to compare force-time characteristics, muscle power, and electromyographic (EMG) activities of the leg muscles in maximal sprinting and in selected bounding and jumping exercises. Seven male sprinters performed maximal bounding (MB), maximal stepping (MS), maximal hopping with the right (MHR) and left (MHL) legs, and maximal sprint running (MR). These “horizontal” exercises and running were performed on a force platform. EMG activity was telemetered unilaterally from five leg muscles during each trial. The results indicated significant (p < .001) differences among the studied exercises in velocity, stride length, stride rate, flight time, and contact time. Also, significant differences were noticed in reactive forces (p < .01-.001) and power (p < .01) among the performances, whereas only insignificant differences were observed in EMG patterns. The average resultant forces during the braking and propulsion phases in MS, MHR, and MHL were greater (p < .001) than in MR and MB. Stepping and hopping are cyclic and sprint-specific and may be used as strength exercises for sprinters because of great strength demand.