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Sheng Li, Frederic Danion, Mark L. Latash, Zong-Ming Li and Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky

One purpose of the present study was to compare indices of finger coordination during force production by the fingers of the right hand and of the left hand. The other purpose was to study the relation between the phenomena of force deficit during multifinger one-hand tasks and of bilateral force deficit during two-hand tasks. Thirteen healthy right-handed subjects performed maximal voluntary force production tasks with different finger combinations involving fingers of one hand or of both hands together. Fingers of the left hand demonstrated lower peak forces, higher indices of finger enslaving, and similar indices of force deficit. Significant bilateral effects during force production by fingers of both hands acting in parallel were seen only during tasks involving different fingers or finger groups in the two hands (asymmetrical tasks). The bilateral deficit effects were more pronounced in the hand whose fingers generated higher forces. These findings suggest a generalization of an earlier introduced principle of minimization of secondary moments. They also may be interpreted as suggesting that bilateral force deficit is task-specific and may reflect certain optimization principles.

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David W. Keeley, Gretchen D. Oliver, Christopher P. Dougherty and Michael R. Torry

The purpose of this study was to better understand how lower body kinematics relate to peak glenohumeral compressive force and develop a regression model accounting for variability in peak glenohumeral compressive force. Data were collected for 34 pitchers. Average peak glenohumeral compressive force was 1.72% ± 33% body weight (1334.9 N ± 257.5). Correlation coefficients revealed 5 kinematic variables correlated to peak glenohumeral compressive force (P < .01, α = .025). Regression models indicated 78.5% of the variance in peak glenohumeral compressive force (R2 = .785, P < .01) was explained by stride length, lateral pelvis flexion at maximum external rotation, and axial pelvis rotation velocity at release. These results indicate peak glenohumeral compressive force increases with a combination of decreased stride length, increased pelvic tilt at maximum external rotation toward the throwing arm side, and increased pelvis axial rotation velocity at release. Thus, it may be possible to decrease peak glenohumeral compressive force by optimizing the movements of the lower body while pitching. Focus should be on both training and conditioning the lower extremity in an effort to increase stride length, increase pelvis tilt toward the glove hand side at maximum external rotation, and decrease pelvis axial rotation at release.

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Ross H. Sanders, Barry D. Wilson and Robert K. Jensen

This study investigated whether force data could be derived accurately using segment inertia data determined by the elliptical zone method (Jensen, 1976), automatic digitizing from high-speed video using a Motion Analysis VP110 system, and for an activity that does not require flexion of the thorax. The criterion fonctions were the force-time records of the jumps recorded at 500 Hz by a Kistler 9281B force platform. A second-order Butterworth digital filter was used to smooth the derived data, with frequency cutoffs being selected on the basis of root mean square error of the smoothed function with respect to the criterion force function. In a second procedure, the criterion function was the directly measured force-time record after filtering with a second-order Butterworth digital filter at 5 Hz to remove the high frequency part of the force signal. The closeness of fit of the derived data to the low frequency part of the criterion force was then assessed. It was concluded that, using the techniques described, the low frequency components of the ground reaction forces of drop jumps could be derived accurately.

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Wan X. Yao

The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of motor-unit recruitment on force variability by using computer simulated isometric contractions of a hand muscle (i.e., first dorsal interosseus). The force was simulated at 10 levels of excitation, ranging from 10 to 100% of maximum. Two recruitment conditions were simulated to compare the relative effect of motor-unit recruitment (MUR) on the relationship of force variability and level of force. One condition (40%MUR) recruited all motor units at 40% of the maximum excitation level, and the other (50%MUR) recruited all motor units at 50% of the maximum. The 40%MUR condition had a greater number of motor units than the 50%MUR group before the excitation level reached 50% of the maximum. The results showed that force variability increased at a faster rate before the completion of motor-unit recruitment and, thereafter, increased at a slower rate. In addition, the 40%MUR group showed greater force variability than the 50%MUR group. These data suggest that motor-unit recruitment is an important factor in causing force variability.

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Niell G. Elvin, Alex A. Elvin and Steven P. Arnoczky

Modern electronics allow for the unobtrusive measurement of accelerations outside the laboratory using wireless sensor nodes. The ability to accurately measure joint accelerations under unrestricted conditions, and to correlate them with jump height and landing force, could provide important data to better understand joint mechanics subject to real-life conditions. This study investigates the correlation between peak vertical ground reaction forces, as measured by a force plate, and tibial axial accelerations during free vertical jumping. The jump heights calculated from force-plate data and accelerometer measurements are also compared. For six male subjects participating in this study, the average coefficient of determination between peak ground reaction force and peak tibial axial acceleration is found to be 0.81. The coefficient of determination between jump height calculated using force plate and accelerometer data is 0.88. Data show that the landing forces could be as high as 8 body weights of the jumper. The measured peak tibial accelerations ranged up to 42 g. Jump heights calculated from force plate and accelerometer sensors data differed by less than 2.5 cm. It is found that both impact accelerations and landing forces are only weakly correlated with jump height (the average coefficient of determination is 0.12). This study shows that unobtrusive accelerometers can be used to determine the ground reaction forces experienced in a jump landing. Whereas the device also permitted an accurate determination of jump height, there was no correlation between peak ground reaction force and jump height.

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Duane V. Knudson and Scott C. White

Two force sensing resistor force transducers were utilized to measure the forces on the hand of seven skilled tennis players performing the tennis forehand drive. Repeatable gripping force patterns were recorded for the subjects given the experimental protocol used for the study. The magnitude of the peak postimpact force on the hand was highly variable, ranging from 4 to 309 N, and was found to be related to high-frequency vibrations of the racket. There was less variability in the magnitude of preimpact gripping forces, indicating that the subjects utilized a consistent gripping pattern in preparation for impact. The large within- and between-subject variability of postimpact forces warrant further study in order to establish the range of loadings in tennis play that may be related to overuse injuries.

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Marcelo Peduzzi de Castro, Daniel Cury Ribeiro, Felipe de Camargo Forte, Joelly Mahnic de Toledo, Roberto Costa Krug and Jefferson Fagundes Loss

The aim of this study was to compare shoulder muscle force and moment production during external rotation performed in the transverse and sagittal planes. An optimization model was used for estimating shoulder muscle force production of infraspinatus, teres minor, supraspinatus, anterior deltoid, middle deltoid and posterior deltoid muscles. The model uses as input data the external rotation moment, muscle moment arm magnitude, muscle physiologic cross-sectional area and muscle specific tension. The external rotation moment data were gathered from eight subjects in transverse and six subjects in sagittal plane using an isokinetic dynamometer. In the sagittal plane, all studied muscles presented larger estimated force in comparison with the transverse plane. The infraspinatus, teres minor, supraspinatus and posterior deltoid muscles presented larger moment in sagittal when compared with transverse plane. When prescribing shoulder rehabilitation exercises, therapists should bear in mind the described changes in muscle force production.

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Iris F. Kimura, LouAnne M. Jefferson, Dawn T. Gulick and R. David Coll

The purpose of this study was to investigate intratester and intertester reliability when using the Chatillon and MicroFet hand-held dynamometers (HHDs) to measure isometric force production of the wrist extensors, elbow flexors, ankle dorsiflexors, and knee extensors. Twelve subjects participated, with each joint tested four times with each HHD. Intratester and intertester intraclass con-elation coefficients were measured for both devices separately and between the devices- Results indicated that the HHDs were more reliable when used by a single examiner who had been properly trained in their use. Reliability of the HHDs appears to be affected by both the magnitude of the force produced by the subject and the examiner's ability to resist the force. There was no correlation between examiner's stature and consistent force production values. Caution should be taken when interpreting data obtained from different testers or different HHDs. The same clinician should use the same HHD for successive tests to yield the most reliable data.

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Karen L. Perell, Robert J. Gregor and A.M. Erika Scremin

The purpose of this sludy was to compare individual pedal reaclion force components following bicycle training with and without effective force feedback in subjects with unilateral cerebrovascular accident (CVA). Eight ambulatory subjects with CVA were studied on a recumbent bicycle equipped with custom-built pedals, which measure normal and tangential components of the load applied to the pedal surface. Comparisons of normal and tangential pedal reaction forces were made following 1 month of bicycle training (3 times/week for 4 weeks) during retention tests performed without feedback. The ratios of involved to contralateral (I/C ratios) force parameters were used to assess symmetry. Subjects were randomly assigned to 2 groups: (a) a feedback group that received visual/verbal feedback regarding effective force patterns, bilaterally, after each trial; and (b) a no-feedback group dial received no feedback. Two critical results were found: (a) tangential pedal forces were significantly more posteriorly directed bilaterally following training across all subjects, but the change was greater for the no-feedback group relative to the feedback group, and (b) effective force feedback training did not demonstrate improvements in the I/C ratios above that of the control group. A more posteriorly applied tangential pedal force may represent increased dorsiflexion and may suggest that bicycle training facilitated ankle control. The cyclical nature of cycling, however, may allow for natural patterns to develop without feedback or may require less frequent use of feedback based on retention test performance.

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Amador García-Ramos, Slobodan Jaric, Paulino Padial and Belén Feriche

This study aimed to (1) evaluate the linearity of the force–velocity relationship, as well as the reliability of maximum force (F 0), maximum velocity (V 0), slope (a), and maximum power (P 0); (2) compare these parameters between the traditional and ballistic bench press (BP); and (3) determine the correlation of F 0 with the directly measured BP 1-repetition maximum (1RM). Thirty-two men randomly performed 2 sessions of traditional BP and 2 sessions of ballistic BP during 2 consecutive weeks. Both the maximum and mean values of force and velocity were recorded when loaded by 20–70% of 1RM. All force–velocity relationships were strongly linear (r > .99). While F 0 and P 0 were highly reliable (ICC: 0.91–0.96, CV: 3.8–5.1%), lower reliability was observed for V 0 and a (ICC: 0.49–0.81, CV: 6.6–11.8%). Trivial differences between exercises were found for F 0 (ES: < 0.2), however the a was higher for the traditional BP (ES: 0.68–0.94), and V 0 (ES: 1.04–1.48) and P 0 (ES: 0.65–0.72) for the ballistic BP. The F 0 strongly correlated with BP 1RM (r: 0.915–0.938). The force–velocity relationship is useful to assess the upper body maximal capabilities to generate force, velocity, and power.