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Thilo Hotfiel, Marion Kellermann, Bernd Swoboda, Dane Wildner, Tobias Golditz, Casper Grim, Martin Raithel, Michael Uder and Rafael Heiss

compresses the tissue by using the ultrasound transducer. 13 – 15 The acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) technique differs from strain elastography as it uses the dynamic tissue response to high-energy focused ARFIs that are generated by the transducer. As the tissue displacement is caused by fixed

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Roger O. Kollock, Bonnie Van Lunen, Stacie I. Ringleb and James Onate

The ability to produce force rapidly and to maintain it is essential to sports performance. Although rapid force production and endurance are indispensable characteristics of optimal health and performance, assessing these qualities of strength is difficult because of clinician time constraints. The purpose of this study was to determine if peak force is a predictor of rate of force production and strength endurance. The results indicated peak force is a predictor of rate of force development, but not strength endurance. Clinicians should assess both maximum strength and endurance to gain a more complete picture of lower extremity strength deficits.

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Ewald M. Hennig, Thomas L. Milani and Mario A. Lafortune

Ground reaction force data and tibial accelerations from a skin-mounted transducer were collected during rearfoot running at 3.3 m/s across a force platform. Five repetitive trials from 27 subjects in each of 19 different footwear conditions were evaluated. Ground reaction force as well as tibial acceleration parameters were found to be useful for the evaluation of the cushioning properties of different athletic footwear. The good prediction of tibial accelerations by the maximum vertical force rate toward the initial force peak (r2 = .95) suggests that the use of a force platform is sufficient for the estimation of shock-absorbing properties of sport shoes. If an even higher prediction accuracy is required a regression equation with two variables (maximum force rate, median power frequency) may be used (r2 = .97). To evaluate the influence of footwear on the shock traveling through the body, a good prediction of peak tibial accelerations can be achieved from force platform measurements.

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Karin Tammik, Mariann Matlep, Jaan Ereline, Helena Gapeyeva and Mati Pääsuke

Isometric voluntary force production and relaxation capacity of the quadriceps femoris (QF) muscle was compared between 12 children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy (CP) and healthy controls, age 10–11 years. Children with CP had less (p < .05) maximal voluntary-contraction force, voluntary activation, and rate of force development than controls. Visual reaction to contraction did not differ significantly in measured groups, whereas the reaction time to relaxation and halfrelaxation time were longer (p < .05) in children with CP. The authors concluded that in children with CP, the capacity for rapid voluntary force production and relaxation is reduced to a greater extent than isometric maximal force.

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Gregory W. Heath, Ross C. Brownson, Judy Kruger, Rebecca Miles, Kenneth E. Powell, Leigh T. Ramsey and the Task Force on Community Preventive Services

Background:

Although a number of environmental and policy interventions to promote physical activity are being widely used, there is sparse systematic information on the most effective approaches to guide population-wide interventions.

Methods:

We reviewed studies that addressed the following environmental and policy strategies to promote physical activity: community-scale urban design and land use policies and practices to increase physical activity; street-scale urban design and land use policies to increase physical activity; and transportation and travel policies and practices. These systematic reviews were based on the methods of the independent Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Exposure variables were classified according to the types of infrastructures/policies present in each study. Measures of physical activity behavior were used to assess effectiveness.

Results:

Two interventions were effective in promoting physical activity (community-scale and street-scale urban design and land use policies and practices). Additional information about applicability, other effects, and barriers to implementation are provided for these interventions. Evidence is insufficient to assess transportation policy and practices to promote physical activity.

Conclusions:

Because community- and street-scale urban design and land-use policies and practices met the Community Guide criteria for being effective physical activity interventions, implementing these policies and practices at the community-level should be a priority of public health practitioners and community decision makers.

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Julien Jacquier-Bret, Arnaud Faupin, Nasser Rezzoug and Philippe Gorce

The aim of this study was to propose a new index called Postural Force Production Index (PFPI) for evaluating the force production during handcycling. For a given posture, it assesses the force generation capacity in all Cartesian directions by linking the joint configuration to the effective force applied on the handgrips. Its purpose is to give insight into the force pattern of handcycling users, and could be used as ergonomic index. The PFPI is based on the force ellipsoid, which belongs to the class of manipulability indices and represents the overall force production capabilities at the hand in all Cartesian directions from unit joint torques. The kinematics and kinetics of the arm were recorded during a 1-min exercise test on a handcycle at 70 revolutions per minute performed by one paraplegic expert in handcycling. The PFPI values were compared with the Fraction Effective Force (FEF), which is classically associated with the effectiveness of force application. The results showed a correspondence in the propulsion cycle between FEF peaks and the most favorable postures to produce a force tangential to the crank rotation (PFPI). This preliminary study opens a promising way to study patterns of force production in the framework of handcycling movement analysis.

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Håvard Lorås, Gertjan Ettema and Stig Leirdal

Changes in pedaling rate during cycling have been found to alter the pedal forces. Especially, the force effectiveness is reduced when pedaling rate is elevated. However, previous findings related to the muscular force component indicate strong preferences for certain force directions. Furthermore, inertial forces (due to limb inertia) generated at the pedal increase with elevated pedaling rate. It is not known how pedaling rate alters the inertia component and subsequently force effectiveness. With this in mind, we studied the effect of pedal rate on the direction of the muscle component, quantified with force effectiveness. Cycle kinetics were recorded for ten male competitive cyclists at five cadences (60–100 rpm) during unloaded cycling (to measure inertia) and at a submaximal load (~260 W). The force effectiveness decreased as a response to increased pedaling rate, but subtracting inertia eliminated this effect. This indicates consistent direction of the muscle component of the foot force.

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Matt S. Stock and Micheal J. Luera

The ability to examine force curves from multiple-joint assessments combines many of the benefits of dynamic constant external resistance exercise and isokinetic dynamometry. The purpose of this investigation was to examine test-retest reliability statistics for peak and mean force using the Exerbotics eSQ during maximal concentric and eccentric squats. Seventeen resistance-trained men (mean ± SD age = 21 ± 2 years) visited the laboratory on two occasions. For each trial, the subjects performed two maximal concentric and eccentric squats, and the muscle actions with the highest force values were analyzed. There were no mean differences between the trials (P > .05), and the effect sizes were < 0.12. When the entire force curve was examined, the intraclass correlation coefficients (model 2,1) and standard errors of measurement, respectively, were concentric peak force = 0.743 (8.8%); concentric mean force = 0.804 (6.0%); eccentric peak force = 0.696 (10.6%); eccentric mean force = 0.736 (9.6%). These findings indicated moderate-to-high reliability for the peak and mean force values obtained from the Exerbotics eSQ during maximal squat testing. The analysis of force curves from multiple-joint testing provides researchers and practitioners with a reliable means of assessing performance, especially during concentric muscle actions.

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Wissem Dhahbi, Anis Chaouachi, Anis Ben Dhahbi, Jodie Cochrane, Laurence Chèze, Angus Burnett and Karim Chamari

Purpose:

To examine differences between ground-reaction-force (GRF)-based parameters collected from 5 types of plyometric push-ups. Between-trials reliability and the relationships between parameters were also assessed.

Methods:

Thirty-seven highly active commando soldiers performed 3 trials of 5 variations of the plyometric push-up in a counterbalanced order: standard countermovement push-up (SCPu), standard squat push-up (SSPu), kneeling countermovement push-up (KCPu), kneeling squat push-up (KSPu), and drop-fall push-up (DFPu). Vertical GRF was measured during these exercises using a portable Kistler force plate. The GRF applied by the hands in the starting position (initial force supported), peak GRF and rate of force development during takeoff, flight time, impact force, and rate of force development impact on landing were determined.

Results:

During standard-position exercises (SCPu and SSPu) the initial force supported and impact force were higher (P < .001) than with kneeling exercises (KCPu, KSPu, and DFPu). The peak GRF and rate of force development during takeoff were higher (P < .001) in the countermovement push-up exercises ([CMP] SCPu, KCPu, and DFPu) than squat push-up exercises ([SP] SSPu and KSPu). Furthermore, the flight time was greater (P < .001) during kneeling exercises than during standard-position exercises. A significant relationship (P < .01) between impact force and the rate of force development impact was observed for CMP and SP exercises (r = .83 and r = .62, respectively). The initial force supported was also negatively related (P < .01) to the flight time for both CMP and SP (r = –.74 and r = –.80, respectively). It was revealed that the initial force supported and the peak GRF during takeoff had excellent reliability; however, other parameters had poor absolute reliability.

Conclusions:

It is possible to adjust the intensity of plyometric push-up exercises and train athletes’ muscle power by correctly interpreting GRF-based parameters. However, caution is required as some parameters had marginal absolute reliability.

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Bastiaan Breine, Philippe Malcolm, Veerle Segers, Joeri Gerlo, Rud Derie, Todd Pataky, Edward C. Frederick and Dirk De Clercq

ground reaction force (GRF) during the initial impact phase. 3 When quantifying the impact intensity of a running foot contact, the peak vertical instantaneous loading rate of the GRF (VILR) is frequently used. 3 – 7 VILR is defined as the maximal steepness of the slope of the initial