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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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Yu-Jen Chen, Irving Scher and Christopher M. Powers

The purpose of this study was to describe an imaging based, subject specific model that was developed to quantify patellofemoral joint reaction forces (PFJRF’s). The secondary purpose was to test the model in a group of healthy individuals while performing various functional tasks. Twenty healthy subjects (10 males, 10 females) were recruited. All participants underwent two phases of data collection: 1) magnetic resonance imaging of the knee, patellofemoral joint, and thigh, and 2) kinematic, kinetic and EMG analysis during walking, running, stair ascent, and stair descent. Using data obtained from MRI, a subject specific representation of the extensor mechanism was created. Individual gait data were used to drive the model (via an optimization routine) and three-dimensional vasti muscle forces and subsequent three-dimensional PFJRF’s were computed. The average peak PFJRF was found to be highest during running (58.2 N/kg-bwt), followed by stair ascent (33.9 N/kg-bwt), stair descent (27.9 N/kg-bwt), and walking (10.1 N/kg-bwt). No differences were found between males and females. For all conditions, the direction of the PFJRF was always in the posterior, superior, and lateral directions. The posterior component of the PFJRF always had the greatest magnitude, followed by superior and lateral components. Our results indicate that estimates of the magnitude and direction of the PFJRF during functional tasks can be obtained using a 3D-imaging based model.

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Kuangyou B. Cheng

The effect of joint strengthening on standing vertical jump height is investigated by computer simulation. The human model consists of five rigid segments representing the feet, shanks, thighs, HT (head and trunk), and arms. Segments are connected by frictionless revolute joints and model movement is driven by joint torque actuators. Each joint torque is the product of maximum isometric torque and three variable functions of instantaneous joint angle, angular velocity, and activation level, respectively. Jumping movements starting from a balanced initial posture and ending at takeoff are simulated. A matching simulation reproducing the actual jumping movement is generated by optimizing joint activation level. Simulations with the goal of maximizing jump height are repeated for varying maximum isometric torque of one joint by up to ±20% while keeping other joint strength values unchanged. Similar to previous studies, reoptimization of activation after joint strengthening is necessary for increasing jump height. The knee and ankle are the most effective joints in changing jump height (by as much as 2.4%, or 3 cm). For the same amount of percentage increase/decrease in strength, the shoulder is the least effective joint (which changes height by as much as 0.6%), but its influence should not be overlooked.

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Joyan L. Urda, Jeffrey S. Lynn, Andrea Gorman and Beth Larouere

Background:

The purpose of this study was to determine whether an alert to get up once per hour while at work would reduce sitting time, increase sit-to-stand transitions, and improve perceived wellness in women with sedentary jobs.

Methods:

Female university staff and administrators (48 ± 10 years) were randomly assigned to control-control (CC) (n = 22) or control-intervention (CI) (n = 22) groups. Both used a thigh-worn postural-based activity monitor for 2 weeks. The CC group maintained normal behaviors, whereas the CI group maintained behaviors during control week, but received hourly alerts on their computer during work hours in the intervention week. Time sitting and sit-to-stand transitions during an 8.5-hour workday were examined. A perceived wellness survey was completed at baseline and after the control and intervention weeks.

Results:

Among all participants (N = 44) during the control week, 68% of the workday was spent sitting and 41 sit-to-stand transitions occurred. An analysis of variance revealed no statistically significant differences in variables over time (P > .05). There was a significant increase in perceived wellness from baseline in both groups (P ≤ .05). Perceived wellness showed no statistically significant difference between groups.

Conclusions:

The intervention had no statistically significant effect on sitting time or sit-to-stand transitions. Participation improved perceived wellness in the absence of behavior change.

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Klaus Peikenkamp, Martin Fritz and Klaus Nicol

The surface-athlete interaction is discussed as one possible factor in overuse injuries, as the ground reaction force does not depend only on the athlete’s movement during surface contact but also on the mechanical properties of the playing surface. Since it is extremely difficult to measure the ground reaction force on an area-elastic surface, two damped linear-spring models were combined to calculate both the vertical ground reaction force on area-elastic surfaces and their deformations during the athlete’s landing from a jump height of 0.45 m. The athlete model consists of 4 segments (feet, shanks, thighs, and rest of the body) and the surface model consists of 5 segments each connected (a) to the concrete and (b) to each other via an additional imaginary segment. While the connections to the concrete were kept constant, the surface mass and the connections between the segments were varied in order to consider different degrees of area-elasticity of the simulated surfaces. With this approach it was shown that both the passive and active maximum of the vertical ground reaction force depend only on the maximum deformation of the surface, whereas the force rates vary greatly for identical maximum deformations. It appears that these differences increase with increasing maximum deformation. Therefore, in constructing area-elastic sport surfaces, the maximum deformation allowed should be as large as would coincide with other functions the surface must fulfill. Subsequently, the surface mass interacting with the athlete during landing should be large and the damping properties between these mass-segments should be very small.

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Fernando Naclerio, Marco Seijo-Bujia, Eneko Larumbe-Zabala and Conrad P. Earnest

Beef powder is a new high-quality protein source scarcely researched relative to exercise performance. The present study examined the impact of ingesting hydrolyzed beef protein, whey protein, and carbohydrate on strength performance (1RM), body composition (via plethysmography), limb circumferences and muscular thickness (via ultrasonography), following an 8-week resistance-training program. After being randomly assigned to one of the following groups: Beef, Whey, or Carbohydrate, twenty four recreationally physically active males (n = 8 per treatment) ingested 20 g of supplement, mixed with orange juice, once a day (immediately after workout or before breakfast). Post intervention changes were examined as percent change and 95% CIs. Beef (2.0%, CI, 0.2–2.38%) and Whey (1.4%, CI, 0.2–2.6%) but not Carbohydrate (0.0%, CI, -1.2–1.2%) increased fat-free mass. All groups increased vastus medialis thickness: Beef (11.1%, CI, 6.3–15.9%), Whey (12.1%, CI, 4.0, -20.2%), Carbohydrate (6.3%, CI, 1.9–10.6%). Beef (11.2%, CI, 5.9–16.5%) and Carbohydrate (4.5%, CI, 1.6–7.4%), but not Whey (1.1%, CI, -1.7–4.0%), increased biceps brachialis thickness, while only Beef increased arm (4.8%, CI, 2.3–7.3%) and thigh (11.2%, 95%CI 0.4–5.9%) circumferences. Although the three groups significantly improved 1RM Squat (Beef 21.6%, CI 5.5–37.7%; Whey 14.6%, CI, 5.9–23.3%; Carbohydrate 19.6%, CI, 2.2–37.1%), for the 1RM bench press the improvements were significant for Beef (15.8% CI 7.0–24.7%) and Whey (5.8%, CI, 1.7–9.8%) but not for carbohydrate (11.4%, CI, -0.9-23.6%). Protein-carbohydrate supplementation supports fat-free mass accretion and lower body hypertrophy. Hydrolyzed beef promotes upper body hypertrophy along with similar performance outcomes as observed when supplementing with whey isolate or maltodextrin.

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Ashley A. Walter, Abbie E. Smith, Trent J. Herda, Eric D. Ryan, Jordan R. Moon, Joel T. Cramer and Jeffrey R. Stout

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of 5 d of creatine (Cr) loading on the electromyographic fatigue threshold (EMG FT) in college-age men. Sixteen men (age 22.4 ± 2.6 yr, height 177.4 ± 6.8 cm, weight 79.5 ± 10.6 kg; M ± SD) participated in this double-blind study and were randomly placed into either placebo (Pl; 10 g of flavored fructose powder per packet; n = 8) or Cr (5 g dicreatine citrate plus 10 g of flavored fructose powder per packet; n = 8) loading groups. Each participant ingested 1 packet 4 times/d, totaling 20 g/d for 5 days (loading). Before and after loading, each participant performed a discontinuous cycle-ergometer test to determine his EMG FT, using bipolar surface electrodes placed on the vastus lateralis of the right thigh. Four 60-s work bouts (ranging from 200 to 400 W) were completed. Adequate rest was given between bouts to allow for the participants’ heart rate (HR) to drop within 10 beats of their resting HR. The EMG amplitude was averaged over 5-s intervals for each 60-s work bout. Resulting slopes from each successive work bout were used to calculate EMG FT. A 2-way ANOVA, Group (Cr vs. Pl) EETime (pre vs. post), resulted in a nonsignificant (p > .05) interaction for supplement and time. In addition, a significant increase (p = .009) in weight was observed in the Cr group. These data suggest that there was a minimal influence of Cr loading on EMG FT for the participants in this study.

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Yuta Koshino, Tomoya Ishida, Masanori Yamanaka, Mina Samukawa, Takumi Kobayashi and Harukazu Tohyama

Context:

Identifying the foot positions that are vulnerable to lateral ankle sprains is important for injury prevention. The effects of foot position in the transverse plane on ankle biomechanics during landing are unknown.

Objective:

To examine the effects of toe-in or toe-out positioning on ankle inversion motion and moment during single-leg landing.

Design:

Repeated measures.

Setting:

Motion analysis laboratory.

Participants:

18 healthy participants (9 men and 9 women).

Interventions:

Participants performed single-leg landing trials from a 30-cm high box under 3 conditions: natural landing, foot internally rotated (toe-in), and foot externally rotated (toe-out).

Main Outcome Measures:

4 toe-in or toe-out angles were calculated against 4 reference coordinates (laboratory, pelvis, thigh, and shank) in the transverse plane. Ankle inversion angle, angular velocity, and external moment in the 200 ms after initial foot-to-ground contact were compared between the 3 landing conditions.

Results:

All toe-in or toe-out angles other than those calculated against the shank were significantly different between each of the 3 landing conditions (P < .001). Ankle inversion angle, angular velocity, and moment were highest during toe-in landings (P < .01), while eversion angle and moment were highest during toe-out landings (P < .001). The effect sizes of these differences were large. Vertical ground reaction forces were not different between the 3 landing conditions (P = .290).

Conclusions:

Toe-in or toe-out positioning during single-leg landings impacts on ankle inversion and eversion motion and moment. Athletes could train not to land with the toe-in positioning to prevent lateral ankle sprains.

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Matthew J.E. Lott and Stuart D.R. Galloway

This study assessed fluid balance, sodium losses, and effort intensity during indoor tennis match play (17 ± 2 °C, 42% ± 9% relative humidity) over a mean match duration of 68.1 ± 12.8 min in 16 male tennis players. Ad libitum fluid intake was recorded throughout the match. Sweat loss from change in nude body mass; sweat electrolyte content from patches applied to the forearm, calf, and thigh, and back of each player; and electrolyte balance derived from sweat, urine, and daily food-intake analysis were measured. Effort intensity was assessed from on-court heart rate compared with data obtained during a maximal treadmill test. Sweat rate (M ± SD) was 1.1 ± 0.4 L/hr, and fluid-ingestion rate was 1.0 ± 0.6 L/hr (replacing 93% ± 47% of fluid lost), resulting in only a small mean loss in body mass of 0.15% ± 0.74%. Large interindividual variabilities in sweat rate (range 0.3–2.0 L/hr) and fluid intake (range 0.31–2.52 L/hr) were noted. Whole-body sweat sodium concentration was 38 ± 12 mmol/L, and total sodium losses during match play were 1.1 ± 0.4 g (range 0.5–1.8 g). Daily sodium intake was 2.8 ± 1.1 g. Indoor match play largely consisted of low-intensity exercise below ventilatory threshold (mean match heart rate was 138 ± 24 beats/min). This study shows that in moderate indoor temperature conditions players ingest sufficient fluid to replace sweat losses. However, the wide range in data obtained highlights the need for individualized fluid-replacement guidance.

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Mark A. Sutherlin and Joseph M. Hart

Context:

Individuals with a history of low back pain (LBP) may present with decreased hip-abduction strength and increased trunk or gluteus maximus (GMax) fatigability. However, the effect of hip-abduction exercise on hip-muscle function has not been previously reported.

Objective:

To compare hip-abduction torque and muscle activation of the hip, thigh, and trunk between individuals with and without a history of LBP during repeated bouts of side-lying hip-abduction exercise.

Design:

Repeated measures.

Setting:

Clinical laboratory.

Participants:

12 individuals with a history of LBP and 12 controls.

Intervention:

Repeated 30-s hip-abduction contractions.

Main Outcome Measures:

Hip-abduction torque, normalized root-mean-squared (RMS) muscle activation, percent RMS muscle activation, and forward general linear regression.

Results:

Hip-abduction torque reduced in all participants as a result of exercise (1.57 ± 0.36 Nm/kg, 1.12 ± 0.36 Nm/kg; P < .001), but there were no group differences (F = 0.129, P = .723) or group-by-time interactions (F = 1.098, P = .358). All participants had increased GMax activation during the first bout of exercise (0.96 ± 1.00, 1.18 ± 1.03; P = .038). Individuals with a history of LBP had significantly greater GMax activation at multiple points during repeated exercise (P < .05) and a significantly lower percent of muscle activation for the GMax (P = .050) at the start of the third bout of exercise and for the biceps femoris (P = .039) at the end of exercise. The gluteal muscles best predicted hip-abduction torque in controls, while no consistent muscles were identified for individuals with a history of LBP.

Conclusions:

Hip-abduction torque decreased in all individuals after hip-abduction exercise, although individuals with a history of LBP had increased GMax activation during exercise. Gluteal muscle activity explained hip-abduction torque in healthy individuals but not in those with a history of LBP. Alterations in hip-muscle function may exist in individuals with a history of LBP.