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Yusuke Osawa, Yasumichi Arai, Yuko Oguma, Takumi Hirata, Yukiko Abe, Koichiro Azuma, Michiyo Takayama and Nobuyoshi Hirose

This study investigated the relationships between muscle echo intensity (EI), physical activity (PA), and functional mobility in 108 Japanese (88–92 years). We measured EI and muscle thickness (MT) at the midpoint of the anterior superior iliac spine and patella using B-mode ultrasound. Light and moderate-to-vigorous PA (LPA and MVPA) were assessed with a triaxial accelerometer. The timed up and go (TUG) test was used to measure for functional mobility. EI, but not MT, was significantly associated with both TUG scores (β = 0.17, p = .047) and MVPA (β = –0.31, p = .01) when adjusted by potential confounders. However, association between EI and TUG disappeared after adjusted for MVPA. Meanwhile, MVPA was significantly associated with TUG scores independent of EI (β = –0.35, p < .001). Although EI of anterior thigh muscles might be a weaker predictor of functional morbidity than MVPA, it is a noninvasive and practical approach for assessing muscle quality in the very old.

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Emmanuel Van Praagh, Nicole Fellmann, Mario Bedu, Guy Falgairette and Jean Coudert

This study was done to determine the extent to which body composition accounts for differences in anaerobic characteristics between 12-year-old girls and boys. Peak leg power (PP), mean leg power (MP), percent body fat, fat free mass (FFM), and lean thigh volume (LTV) were determined by various tests. Pubertal stages and salivary testosterone concentration (in boys) were used to assess sexual maturation. Laboratory anaerobic indices were compared with performances in two running tests. Blood samples were taken for lactate determination. Absolute PP and MP outputs were similar in both sexes and were better correlated with LTV in girls, whereas in boys both PP and MP were highly correlated with FFM. Although nonsignificant gender difference in lean tissue was observed, PP and MP when corrected for LTV were significantly greater in boys than in girls. Factors other than the amount of lean muscle mass should be considered in explaining the gender differences in PP and MP in early pubertal children.

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Kenneth W. Kambis and Sarah K. Pizzedaz

Creatine monohydrate (CrH2O) supplementation has been demonstrated to increase skeletal muscle power output in men. However, its effect upon women is not as clearly defined. This study investigated the effect of oral creatine supplementation upon muscle function, thigh circumference, and body weight in women. Twenty-two consenting college-age women were assigned to 1 of 2 groups matched for dietary and exercise habits, phase of menstrual cycle, and fat-free mass (FFM). After familiarization with testing procedures, pretrial measures of muscle function (5 repetitions 60 deg · s−1 and 50 repetitions 180 deg · s−1) were conducted during maximal voluntary concentric contraction of the preferred quadriceps muscle using an isokinetic dynamometer. Subjects then ingested 0.5 g · kg−1 FFM of either CrH2O or placebo (one fourth dosage 4 times daily) in a double-blind design for 5 days. Resistance exercise was prohibited. After the ingestion phase was completed, all measures were repeated at the same time of day as during pretrials. Statistical analysis revealed time to peak torque in quadriceps extension decreased from pre-test values of 255 ± 11 ms (mean ± SEM) to post-test values of 223 ± 3 ms; average power in extension increased from 103 ± 7 W pre-test to 112 ± 7 W post-test; and, during flexion, average power increased from 59 ± 5 W pre-test to 65 ± 5 W post-test in the creatine group as compared to controls (p ≤ .05). FFM, percent body fat, mid-quadriceps circumference, skinfold thickness of the measured thigh, and total body weight did not change for both groups between trials. We conclude that CrH2O improves muscle performance in women without significant gains in muscle volume or body weight.

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Matthew R. Nelson, Robert K. Conlee and Allen C. Parcell

In Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), muscles become sore 24 to 48 hours after eccentric and unaccustomed activity. Fiber stiffness, due to decreased muscle glycogen, may predispose muscle to greater damage during eccentric exercise. This study sought to determine if inadequate carbohydrate intake following a protocol to decrease muscle glycogen would increase DOMS after 15 min of downhill running. Thirty-three male subjects (age, 18–35 years) were randomized into 3 groups for testing over a 7-day period. The depletion (DEP) group (n = 12) underwent a glycogen depletion protocol prior to a 15-min downhill run designed to induce DOMS. The repletion (FED) group (n = 10) underwent a glycogen depletion protocol followed by a carbohydrate repletion protocol (>80% CHO) prior to downhill running. The third (ECC) group (n = 11) performed only the downhill running protocol. Subjective muscle soreness, isometric force production, relaxed knee angle, and thigh circumference were measured pretreatment and on days 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 post treatment. Subjective muscle soreness for all groups increased from 0 cm pretreatment to 3.05 ± 0.72 cm (on a 10-cm scale) on day 1 post treatment (p < .05). All groups were significantly different from baseline measurements until day 4 post treatment. Each group experienced a decline in isometric force from 281 ± 45 N pre-to 253 ± 13 N on day 1 post treatment (p < .05). The decrease in isometric force persisted in all groups for 4 days post treatment. Increases in thigh circumference and relaxed knee angle elevations in all 3 groups were statistically different (p < .05) from pretreatment until day 4. No differences were noted between groups for any of the parameters examined. In the current study, 15 min of downhill running is sufficient to cause DOMS with the associated functional and morphological changes; however, inadequate carbohydrate intake after a glycogen depleting exercise does not appear to exacerbate DOMS and the associated symptoms.

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Nathan G. Versey, Shona L. Halson and Brian T. Dawson

Purpose:

To investigate whether contrast water therapy (CWT) assists acute recovery from high-intensity running and whether a dose-response relationship exists.

Methods:

Ten trained male runners completed 4 trials, each commencing with a 3000-m time trial, followed by 8 × 400-m intervals with 1 min of recovery. Ten minutes postexercise, participants performed 1 of 4 recovery protocols: CWT, by alternating 1 min hot (38°C) and 1 min cold (15°C) for 6 (CWT6), 12 (CWT12), or 18 min (CWT18), or a seated rest control trial. The 3000-m time trial was repeated 2 h later.

Results:

3000-m performance slowed from 632 ± 4 to 647 ± 4 s in control, 631 ± 4 to 642 ± 4 s in CWT6, 633 ± 4 to 648 ± 4 s in CWT12, and 631 ± 4 to 647 ± 4 s in CWT18. Following CWT6, performance (smallest worthwhile change of 0.3%) was substantially faster than control (87% probability, 0.8 ± 0.8% mean ± 90% confidence limit), however, there was no effect for CWT12 (34%, 0.0 ± 1.0%) or CWT18 (34%, –0.1 ± 0.8%). There were no substantial differences between conditions in exercise heart rates, or postexercise calf and thigh girths. Algometer thigh pain threshold during CWT12 was higher at all time points compared with control. Subjective measures of thermal sensation and muscle soreness were lower in all CWT conditions at some post-water-immersion time points compared with control; however, there were no consistent differences in whole body fatigue following CWT.

Conclusions:

Contrast water therapy for 6 min assisted acute recovery from high-intensity running; however, CWT duration did not have a dose-response effect on recovery of running performance.

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Karl F. Orishimo and Ian J. Kremenic

The objective of this study was to measure adaptations in landing strategy during single-leg hops following thigh muscle fatigue. Kinetic, kinematic, and electromyographic data were recorded as thirteen healthy male subjects performed a single-leg hop in both the unfatigued and fatigued states. To sufficiently fatigue the thigh muscles, subjects performed at least two sets of 50 step-ups. Fatigue was assessed by measuring horizontal hopping ability following the protocol. Joint motion and loading, as well as muscle activation patterns, were compared between fatigued and unfatigued conditions. Fatigue significantly increased knee motion (p = 0.012) and shifted the ankle into a more dorsiflexed position (p = 0.029). Hip flexion was also reduced following fatigue (p = 0.042). Peak extension moment tended to decrease at the knee and increase at the ankle and hip (p = 0.014). Ankle plantar flexion moment at the time of peak total support moment increased from 0.8 (N⋅m)/kg (SD, 0.6 [N⋅m]/kg) to 1.5 (N⋅m)/kg (SD, 0.8 [N⋅m]/kg) (p = 0.006). Decreased knee moment and increased knee flexion during landings following fatigue indicated that the control of knee motion was compromised despite increased activation of the vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and rectus femoris (p = 0.014, p = 0.014, and p = 0.017, respectively). Performance at the ankle increased to compensate for weakness in the knee musculature and to maintain lower extremity stability during landing. Investigating the biomechanical adaptations that occur in healthy subjects as a result of muscle fatigue may give insight into the compensatory mechanisms and loading patterns occurring in patients with knee pathology. Changes in single-leg hop landing performance could be used to demonstrate functional improvement in patients due to training or physical therapy.

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Bradley C. Nindl, William J. Kraemer, Lincoln A. Gotshalk, James O. Marx, Jeff S. Volek, Jill A. Bush, Keijo Häkkinen, Robert U. Newton and Steve J. Fleck

Regional fat distribution (RFD) has been associated with metabolic derangements in populations with obesity. For example, upper body fat patterning is associated with higher levels of free testosterone (FT) and lower levels of sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG). We sought to determine the extent to which this relationship was true in a healthy (i.e., non-obese) female population and whether RFD influenced androgen responses to resistance exercise. This study examined the effects of RFD on total testosterone (TT), FT, and SHBG responses to an acute resistance exercise test (ARET) among 47 women (22 ± 3 years; 165 ± 6 cm; 62 ± 8 kg; 25 ± 5 %BF; 23 ± 3 BMI). RFD was characterized by 3 separate indices: waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), ratio of upper arm fat to mid-thigh fat assessed with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI ratio), and ratio of subscapular to triceps ratio (SB/TRi ratio). Skinfolds were measured for the triceps, chest, subscapular, mid-axillary, suprailaic, abdomen, and thigh regions. The ARET consisted of 6 sets of 10 RM squats separated by 2-min rest periods. Blood was obtained pre- and post- ARET. TT, FT, and SHBG concentrations were determined by radioimmunoassay. Subjects were divided into tertiles from the indices of RFD, and statistical analyses were performed by an ANOVA with repeated measures (RFD and exercise as main effects). Significant (p < .05) increases following the AHRET were observed for TT (~25%), FT (~25%), and SHBG (4%). With multiple regression analysis, anthropometric measures significantly predicted pre- concentrations of FT, post-concentrations of TT, and pre-concentrations of SHBG. The SB/TRi and MRI ratios but not the WHR, were discriminant for hormonal concentrations among the tertiles. In young, healthy women, resistance exercise can induce transient increases in testosterone, and anthropometric markers of adiposity correlate with testosterone concentrations.

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John H. Hollman, Robert H. Deusinger, Linda R. Van Dillen, Dequan Zou, Scott D. Minor, Matthew J. Matava and Jack R. Engsberg

Context:

Analyses of the path of instant center of rotation (PICR) can be used to infer joint-surface rolling and sliding motion (arthrokinematics). Previous PICR research has not quantified arthrokinematics during weight-bearing (WB) movement conditions or studied the association of muscle activity with arthrokinematics.

Objective:

To examine tibiofemoral arthrokinematics and thigh-muscle EMG during WB and non-weight-bearing (NWB) movement.

Design:

2 x 9 repeated-measures experiment.

Setting:

Laboratory.

Participants:

11 healthy adults (mean age 24 years).

Main Outcome Measures:

Tibiofemoral percentage rolling arthrokinematics and quadriceps: hamstring EMG activity.

Results:

WB percentage rolling (76.0% ± 4.7%) exceeded that of NWB (57.5% ± 1.8%) through terminal knee extension (F 8,80 = 8.99, P < .001). Quadriceps:hamstring EMG ratios accounted for 45.1% and 34.7% of the variance in arthrokinematics throughout the WB and NWB movement conditions, respectively (P < .001).

Conclusions:

More joint-surface rolling occurs through terminal knee extension during WB movement and is associated with an increase in hamstring activity.

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Benjamin W. Infantolino, Daniel J. Gales, Samantha L. Winter and John H. Challis

The purpose of this study was to validate ultrasound muscle volume estimation in vivo. To examine validity, vastus lateralis ultrasound images were collected from cadavers before muscle dissection; after dissection, the volumes were determined by hydrostatic weighing. Seven thighs from cadaver specimens were scanned using a 7.5-MHz ultrasound probe (SSD-1000, Aloka, Japan). The perimeter of the vastus lateralis was identified in the ultrasound images and manually digitized. Volumes were then estimated using the Cavalieri principle, by measuring the image areas of sets of parallel two-dimensional slices through the muscles. The muscles were then dissected from the cadavers, and muscle volume was determined via hydrostatic weighing. There was no statistically significant difference between the ultrasound estimation of muscle volume and that estimated using hydrostatic weighing (p > 0.05). The mean percentage error between the two volume estimates was 0.4% ± 6.9. Three operators all performed four digitizations of all images from one randomly selected muscle; there was no statistical difference between operators or trials and the intraclass correlation was high (>0.8). The results of this study indicate that ultrasound is an accurate method for estimating muscle volumes in vivo.

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Alan Barr and David Hawkins

An anatomical database was constructed containing three-dimensional geometric representations of the structures comprising the lower extremity. The database was constructed by digitizing 100 high-resolution digital photographic images supplied from the National Library of Medicine’s Visual Human Male (VHM) project. These images were taken of sequential transverse cross-sectional slices of the leg. Slices were located 1 cm apart between a location approximately 3 mm below the superior aspect of the ilium and approximately 2 mm below the distal end of the fibula. Image Tool Software (v. 2.0) was used to manually digitize the perimeters of muscles, tendons, and bones of the pelvis, thigh, and shank from the right leg of the VHM. Additionally, the perimeter of the leg and the inner aspect of the superficial fat layer were digitized. The pelvis was digitized as a hemi-pelvis. Tissue perimeters were characterized using between 10 and 151 nodes within each slice; the number of nodes varied depending on the tissue’s size. Transverse cross-sectional slice number, structure identification, node number, and the two-dimensional coordinates of each node were stored in a data file. The information contained in this file is unique and provides a database that researchers can use to investigate questions related to tissue anatomy and movement mechanics that cannot be considered using existing musculoskeletal data sets.