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Koen A.P.M. Lemmink, Kemper Han, Mathieu H.G. de Greef, Piet Rispens and Martin Stevens

Several items of the Groningen Fitness Test for the Elderly (GFE) were tested. The GFE tests were administered twice, with 1 week between sessions. The participants were 458 independently living adults >55 years of age. For most tests, there was reasonable agreement between sessions, indicating absolute objectivity and stability, but results on the block-transfer test revealed a learning effect. Mean scores on the balance-board and sit-and-reach tests showed significant improvement, whereas grip-strength results deteriorated significantly. All tests satisfied the criteria for relative reliability. In conclusion, absolute and relative reliability of the tests of the GFE were satisfactory. If multiple applications of the GFE are planned for the same group of participants, 1 or more practice trials should be executed for the block-transfer test to avoid a learning effect. A standard warm-up protocol is recommended for the sit-and-reach test. Participants should be strongly encouraged to give a maximum effort on the strength tests.

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Russell R. Pate, Stewart G. Trost, Marsha Dowda, Alise E. Ott, Dianne S. Ward, Ruth Saunders and Gwen Felton

This study examined the tracking of selected measures of physical activity, inactivity, and fitness in a cohort of rural youth. Students (N = 181, 54.7% female, 63.5% African American) completed test batteries during their fifth- (age = 10.7 ± 0.7 years), sixth-, and seventh-grade years. The Previous Day Physical Activity Recall (PDPAR) was used to assess 30-min blocks of vigorous physical activity (VPA), moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), TV watching and other sedentary activities, and estimated energy expenditure (EE). Fitness measures included the PWC 170 cycle ergometer test, strength tests, tnceps skinfold thickness, and BMI. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) for VPA, MVPA, and after-school EE ranged from 0.63 to 0.78. ICCs ranged from 0.49 to 0.71 for measures of inactivity and from 0.78 to 0.82 for the fitness measures. These results indicate that measures of physical activity, inactivity, and physical fitness tend to track during the transition from elementary to middle school.

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Dennis Dreiskaemper, Bernd Strauss, Norbert Hagemann and Dirk Büsch

Hill and Barton (2005) showed that fighters in tae kwon do, boxing, and wrestling who wore red jerseys during the 2004 Olympic Games won more often than those wearing blue jerseys. Regarding these results, this study investigated the effects of jersey color during a combat situation on fighters’ physical parameters of strength and heart rate. An artificial, experimental combat situation was created in which the color of sport attire was assigned randomly. Fourteen pairs of male athletes matched for weight, height, and age had to fight each other: once in a red jersey and once in a blue. Heart rate (before, during, and after the fight) and strength (before the fight) were tested wearing the blue and the red jerseys. Participants wearing red jerseys had significantly higher heart rates and significantly higher pre-contest values on the strength test. Results showed that participants’ body functions are influenced by wearing red equipment.

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Myriam Guerra Balic, Eufemia Cuadrado Mateos, Carolina Geronimo Blasco and Bo Fernhall

The purpose was to compare physical fitness of two groups of adults with Down syndrome, one active group of Special Olympians (9 males, 4 females), and one sedentary group (5 males, and 2 females). The active group had trained for an average of 4.9 hr per week for a minimum of 1 year for Special Olympics competitions. Participants underwent laboratory testing, including (a) treadmill test to determine peak oxygen uptake; (b) isometric strength tests of handgrip, lower back, and quadriceps; (c) explosive power; and (d) body composition. Peak oxygen consumption and muscle strength were significantly greater in the active group. Although crossectional, these findings suggest that long term exercise training, at a greater than previously reported weekly training load, may enhance physical fitness in individuals with Down syndrome.

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Joe Nocera, Mack Rubley, William Holcomb and Mark Guadagnoli

Context:

There is limited information on the effects of throwing on shoulder proprioception and strength.

Objective:

Examine shoulder proprioception and strength following throwing.

Design:

2x3 mixed-subject design.

Setting:

Research laboratory and outdoor facility.

Participants:

23 male college students (age = 22 ± 2.9yr, ht = 178 ± 11.3cm, wt = 72 ± 7.7kg, 22 right-handed 1 left-handed).

Intervention:

Subjects were pretested for proprioception, measured by active reproduction of passive positioning (ARPP). Strength was quantified using 1RM and an average peak torque at 120º/sec for internal and external shoulder rotation. Following pretesting, subjects (excluding control) completed 75 throws at 75% maximum immediately followed by posttesting.

Main Outcome Measures:

Pre and post ARPP absolute error and strength changes.

Results:

Significant difference in the pre and posttest ARPP values for throwing groups but no difference for the control group. There was no significant difference from pre to post on the strength tests for any groups.

Conclusion:

Results indicate that repetitive throwing affects proprioception while not affecting strength.

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Khalid S. Almuzaini

The main purpose of the present study was to determine isokinetic strength and endurance, isometric strength, and anaerobic power for untrained healthy Saudi children and adolescents. The secondary purpose was to evaluate the effects of age in relation to anthropometric characteristics on strength and anaerobic performances. Forty-four (untrained) 11- to 19-year-old boys were grouped by age: 11-13 years, 14–16 years, and 17–19 years. All participants underwent anthropometric measurements, a flexibility test, a vertical jump test, a grip strength test, isokinetic strength measurements (Cybex Norm), and a Wingate anaerobic power test. Oneway ANOVA results indicated age-related increases in muscle strength and power. High correlation coefficients that were found among age and strength and anaerobic power indices almost disappeared when fat-free mass (FFM) was controlled for, indicating that the amount of variance in these indices that was explained by age is mostly shared by FFM. In addition, stepwise linear regression models indicated that FFM was the main predictor of strength and power performances. Thus, FFM was the best scaling variable for body size when comparing these age groups of Saudis. Until wide-range normal representative values for isokinetic strength and anaerobic power for Saudi children and adolescents are available, the present study’s results can serve as a reference for these indices.

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Johanne Desrosiers, François Prince, Annie Rochette and Michel Raîche

The objectives of this study were to standardize measurement procedures and study the test-retest and interrater reliability of the belt-resisted method for measuring the lower extremity isometric strength of three muscle groups. The strength of 33 healthy, elderly, community-dwelling subjects was evaluated with a hand-held dynamometer using the belt-resisted method. Isometric strength testing of three muscle groups (hip flexors, knee extensors, and ankle dorsiflexors) was performed on two separate occasions, I week apart, by the same tester to determine test-retest reliability. The test results of two different examiners testing on different days were used to determine interrater reliability. Test-retest reliability was higher than interrater reliability. Test-retest reliability coefficients of the three muscle groups were high (J9-.95). For interrater reliability, intraclass correlation coefficients varied from .64 to .92. depending on the muscle group and side. For the two kinds of reliability, intraclass correlation coefficients increased from proximal to distal. The method for the hip muscle group should be modified to increase reliability of the measure.

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Kristian M. O’Connor, Carl Johnson and Lauren C. Benson

The function of the hamstrings in protecting the ACL is not fully understood. The purpose of this study was to determine how landing knee mechanics were affected by hamstrings fatigue, analyzed with principal components analysis (PCA). Knee joint mechanics were collected during single-leg stride landings that were followed by lateral and vertical jumps. An isokinetic fatigue protocol was employed to reduce hamstrings strength by 75% at the cessation of the exercise protocol. On the landing test day, participants performed the stride landing maneuvers before and after the fatigue protocol. PCA was performed on the landing knee joint angle, moment, and power waveforms, and MANOVAs were conducted on the retained PCs of each waveform (P < .05). On the strength test day, hamstrings strength recovery was assessed with an identical fatigue protocol followed by strength assessment ~75 s after the cessation of exercise. Pre- and postexercise hamstrings strength on this day was assessed with a dependent t test (P < .05). The hamstrings strength remained significantly reduced by ~8% postexercise (75 s). For stride landings followed by vertical jumps, there were significantly reduced knee flexion angles, extensor moments, and energy absorption. This was indicative of a stiffer landing strategy postfatigue, which has been associated with increased ACL loading.

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Stefan C. Garcia, Jeffrey J. Dueweke and Christopher L. Mendias

Context: Manual isometric muscle testing is a common clinical technique used to assess muscle strength. To provide the most accurate data for the test, the muscle being assessed should be at a length in which it produces maximum force. However, there is tremendous variability in the recommended positions and joint angles used to conduct these tests, with few apparent objective data used to position the joint such that muscle-force production is greatest. Objective: To use validated anatomically and biomechanically based musculoskeletal models to identify the optimal joint positions in which to perform manual isometric testing. Design: In silico analysis. Main outcome measure: The joint position which produces maximum muscle force for 49 major limb and trunk muscles. Results: The optimal joint position for performing a manual isometric test was determined. Conclusion: Using objective anatomical models that take into account the force-length properties of muscles, the authors identified joint positions in which net muscle-force production was predicted to be maximal. This data can help health care providers to better assess muscle function when manual isometric strength tests are performed.

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Taina Rantanen, Pertti Era, Markku Kauppinen and Eino Heikkinen

This study analyzes the associations of socioeconomic status (SES), health, and physical activity with maximal isometric strength in 75-year-old men (n = 104) and women (n = 191). Maximal isometric strength was measured with dynamometers; the forces were adjusted using body weight. The maximal forces for women varied from 66% (trunk flexion) to 73% (knee extension) of those of the men. SES was not associated with muscle force. For men the trunk forces and elbow flexion force correlated negatively with the number of chronic diseases, index of musculoskeletal pain, and self-rated health. For women all the strength test results correlated with self-rated health; the other health indicators showed significant correlation with trunk extension force only. For both sexes the physically more active exhibited greater strength. The index of musculoskeletal symptoms explained the variance on trunk force factor in both sexes. It was concluded that a higher level of everyday physical activity and good values in the state-of-health indicators were the most important variables explaining greater strength among the elderly.