As a field, biomechanics comprises research from the molecular and cellular levels, to tissues, to organs, to organisms and their movements. In the past 50 years, the impact of biomechanics research on society has been amplified dramatically. Here, we provide five brief summaries of exemplar biomechanics results that have had substantial impact on health and our society, namely 1) spaceflight and microgravitational effects on musculoskeletal health; 2) impact forces, soft tissue vibrations, and skeletal muscle tuning affecting human locomotion; 3) childbirth mechanics, injuries, and pelvic floor dysfunction; 4) prescriptive physical activity in childhood to enhance skeletal growth and development to prevent osteoporotic fractures in adulthood and aging; and 5) creative innovations in technology that have transformed the visual arts and entertainment.
Ronald F. Zernicke, Grant C. Goulet, Peter R. Cavanagh, Benno M. Nigg, James A. Ashton-Miller, Heather A. McKay and Ton van den Bogert
Gregg Bennett, Khalid Ballouli and Jason Sosa
The purpose of this investigation was to assess the effectiveness of a sport management student exchange program. During a summer semester, Wilson University1 faculty hosted a 39-day exchange and study tour made possible due to funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Fusion Arts Exchange program. The theme of the program, the American Sports Brand, was based on an original model focused on creating a deeper understanding of U.S. society, culture, and values among a multinational group of students through an intensive study of the formation, development, and business practices of the American Sports Brand. Participants included 15 international students and five American undergraduate students. A mixed methodological framework was used to examine student learning, perceptions, and experiences. Findings indicate that the exchange was perceived as “sometimes good, sometimes not so good” by the participants. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Peter Jensen, Jorge Roman, Barrett Shaft and Craig Wrisberg
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a relatively new and rapidly growing sport within contemporary athletics yet, to date, it has received relatively little attention in the sport psychology literature. To shed more light on the sport, the aim of the current study was to examine the experiences of MMA fighters during sanctioned competitions. Audio-recorded phenomenological interviews were conducted with seven participants and the transcripts were qualitatively analyzed to identify emerging themes. The findings revealed that the most important aspect of fighters’ experience was the chaotic nature of MMA fights, which participants characterized as “cage reality.” The results also suggested that fighters’ arousal regulation skills are at least as important as their technical skills for performance success. Taken together, the present findings extend previous research on MMA and suggest several implications for sport psychology consultants interested in working with fighters.
Federico Quinzi, Valentina Camomilla, Alberto Di Mario, Francesco Felici and Paola Sbriccoli
Training in martial arts is commonly performed by repeating a technical action continuously for a given number of times. This study aimed to investigate if the repetition of the task alters the proper technical execution, limiting the training efficacy for the technical evaluation during competition. This aim was pursued analyzing lower-limb kinematics and muscle activation during repeated roundhouse kicks.
Six junior karate practitioners performed continuously 20 repetitions of the kick. Hip and knee kinematics and sEMG of vastus lateralis, biceps (BF), and rectus femoris were recorded. For each repetition, hip abduction–adduction and flexion–extension and knee flexion–extension peak angular displacements and velocities, agonist and antagonist muscle activation were computed. Moreover, to monitor for the presence of myoelectric fatigue, if any, the median frequency of the sEMG was computed. All variables were normalized with respect to their individual maximum observed during the sequence of kicks. Linear regressions were fitted to each normalized parameter to test its relationship with the repetition number.
Linear-regression analysis showed that, during the sequence, the athletes modified their technique: Knee flexion, BF median frequency, hip abduction, knee-extension angular velocity, and BF antagonist activation significantly decreased. Conversely, hip flexion increased significantly.
Since karate combat competitions require proper technical execution, training protocols combining severe fatigue and technical actions should be carefully proposed because of technique adaptations. Moreover, trainers and karate masters should consider including specific strength exercises for the BF and more generally for knee flexors.
A study of wellness aspects among college student athletes at a mid-sized, church-related, undergraduate, liberal arts college in the upper Midwest was conducted during the 2006-2007 school year. The students were asked by their coaches and team leaders to complete the Wellness Evaluation of Lifestyle tool online. The study sample consisted of 273 college athletes, of which 131 were female and 142 were male. Female college athletes had the highest scores in the following areas: exercise, friendship, and love. The lowest areas were: spirituality, stress Management, nutrition and total wellness. The female athletes scored lower in 14 out of the 20 wellness behavior categories than the male athletes. In the areas of sense of worth, leisure and stress management, female athletes scored significantly lower than the male athletes. Male athletes scored the highest in the areas of exercise, sense of worth and friendship. Male athletes recorded their lowest scores in spirituality, nutrition, work and total wellness. The implications of this study for athletic programs indicate a need to address the specific needs of female athletes compared to male athletes, particularly tactics for dealing with stress, building self-esteem and the use of leisure activities.
Monoem Haddad, Anis Chaouachi, Carlo Castagna, Del P. Wong, David G. Behm and Karim Chamari
The session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is a practical and non-invasive method that allows a quantification of the internal training load (TL) in individual and team sports, but no study has investigated its construct validity in martial arts. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the convergent validity between the session-RPE method and two objective HR-based methods for quantifying the similar TL during a high-TL camp in young Taekwondo (TKD) athletes.
Ten young TKD athletes (mean ± SD: age, 13.1 ± 2.4 y; body mass, 46.1 ± 12.7 kg; height, 1.53 ± 0.15 m; maximum heart rate (HRmax), 201.0 ± 8.2 bpm) participated in this study. During the training period, subjects performed 35 TKD training sessions, including two formal competitions during which RPE and HR were recorded and analyzed (308 individual training sessions). Correlation analysis was used to evaluate the convergent validity between session-RPE method and the two commonly used HR-based methods for assessing TL in a variety of training modes.
Significant relationships were found between individual session-RPE and all the HR-based TLs (r values from 0.55 to 0.90; P < .001). Significant correlations were observed in all mode of exercises practiced in TKD.
This study shows that session-RPE can be considered as a valid method to assess TL in TKD.
Anastasios Kaburakis, David A. Pierce, Beth A. Cianfrone and Amanda L. Paule
The NCAA maintains a balance between amateurism and the increasing need for generating revenue. In this balancing act, there are various policy considerations and legal constraints. These legal and policy entanglements bore such class action suits as Keller v. Electronic Arts, National Collegiate Athletic Association, and Collegiate Licensing Company (2009) and O’Bannon v. National Collegiate Athletic Association and Collegiate Licensing Company (2009), which question current revenue generating practices of the NCAA. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of NCAA Division I men’s football and basketball student-athletes toward amateurism and the particular use of student-athletes’ likenesses in college sports video games. Findings point to a lack of clarity and understanding of the agreements and consent forms student-athletes sign annually. Respondents demonstrated confusion in regard to financial aid opportunities, parameters of their scholarships, and whether they endorse commercial products. A majority of respondents expressed the desire to receive additional compensation. Recommendations include clarification and focused rules’ education from compliance and financial aid officers, as well as introducing new amateurism policy, concurrently avoiding costly litigation.
Justin A. Kraft, William D. Russell, Nathan Clark, Jessica Helm and Amanda Jackson
The ability of interactive video games (IVGs) to individualize physical demands influences their viability as a physical activity option. This study examined the influence of experience level on activity levels and affect resulting from playing a martial arts IVG.
Twenty participants completed 3 15-minute trials: (1) walking, (2) IVG with no previous experience (INEXP), and (3) IVG activity after 2 hours of practice (EXP) during which heart rate (HR), step counts, metabolic equivalents of task (METs), ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), session RPE, and affect (positive/negative affect, enjoyment) were measured.
Mean HR was lower during walking (107 ± 18 bpm) than during INEXP (131 ± 25 bpm) and EXP (120 ± 20 bpm). Peak HR and session RPE were lower for walking than for INEXP and EXP. No difference in mean HR was observed between IVG conditions, but peak HR and session RPE were lower for EXP than for INEXP. Walking resulted in greater postactivity reduction of negative affect; however, the IVG conditions were perceived as more enjoyable.
Although the current IVG provided a greater exercise stimulus than walking, results suggest that user movements become more efficient with greater IVG experience and that exercise outcomes may decrease as a result.
Julian A. Reed, Gilles Einstein, Erin Hahn, Steven P. Hooker, Virginia P. Gross and Jen Kravitz
To examine the impact of integrating physical activity with elementary curricula on fluid intelligence and academic achievement.
A random sample of 3rd grade teachers integrated physical activity into their core curricula approximately 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week from January 2008 to April 2008. Noninvasive fluid intelligence cognitive measures were used along with State-mandated academic achievement tests.
Experimental Group children averaged close to 1200 pedometer steps per integration day, thus averaging 3600 steps per week. Children in the Experimental Group performed significantly better on the SPM Fluid Intelligence Test. Children in the Experimental Group also performed significantly better on the Social Studies State mandated academic achievement test. Experimental Group children also received higher scores on the English/Language Arts, Math and Science achievements tests, but were not statistically significant compared with Control Group children. Children classified in Fitnessgram’s Healthy Fitness Zone for BMI earned lower scores on many of the SPM Fluid Intelligence components.
This investigation provides evidence that movement can influence fluid intelligence and should be considered to promote cognitive development of elementary-age children. Equally compelling were the differences in SPM Fluid Intelligence Test scores for children who were distinguished by Fitnessgram’s BMI cut points.
Marjo B. Rinne, Seppo I. Miilunpalo and Ari O. Heinonen
There is a lack of knowledge of the motor abilities required in different exercise modes which are needed when counseling sedentary middle-aged people to start a physically active lifestyle.
Nominal group technique was used to establish the consensus statement concerning motor abilities and physical fitness in 31 exercise modes.
Walking, running, jogging, and calisthenics were regarded as the most suitable exercise modes for most people with no specific requirements. The most demanding exercise modes of evaluated exercise modes were roller skating, downhill skiing, and martial arts, requiring all five motor abilities. Four abilities were necessary in skating, jazz dance, and ice hockey. When exercising is target-oriented, endurance is trained evidently in 27 out of 31 and muscle strength in 22 out of 31 exercise modes.
The consensus statement gives theoretical basis for the components of motor abilities and physical fitness components in different exercise modes. The statement is instructive in order to promote health-enhancing physical activity among sedentary people. This study completes the selection of the exercise modes more detailed than current PA recommendation and guidelines for public health. A variety of exercise modes with one or none motor requirements is available to start. When amount and intensity of exercise is increased the training effects can be found in most components of motor ability and physical fitness.