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Nicholas Caplan and Trevor N. Gardner

The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of varying the height of the foot stretcher on the mechanical effectiveness of rowing. Ten male university level rowers rowed maximally for 3 minutes 30 seconds on a modified Concept 2 rowing ergometer. Each participant completed one trial at three foot stretcher heights. Position 1 was the original Concept 2 stretcher position, with Position 2 being located 5 cm and Position 3 being 10 cm above the original position and in the same orientation. Pull force and velocity were measured, and mean power generated by the rowers was calculated for each stroke. It was shown that in all three stretcher positions, mean power per stroke decreased as a function of time during the trial, confirming the fatiguing effects of the task. Although mean power per stroke did not differ significantly between stretcher positions at the start of the trial, p = 0.082, a significant difference was observed between the original stretcher position and Positions 2 and 3 at the end of the trial, p < 0.05. The lowest decline in mean power occurred in the highest stretcher position. It is suggested that this improvement in effectiveness is due to a reduction in the active downward vertical forces applied to the foot stretchers which does not contribute to forward propulsion, and thus a reduction in energy waste during each stroke. It was hypothesized that further raising the stretchers will continue to lead to an improvement in effectiveness until the optimum stretcher height is reached, above which effectiveness will be reduced.

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Jeffrey M. McBride, Tony R. Larkin, Andrea M. Dayne, Tracie L. Haines and Tyler J. Kirby

Purpose:

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effect of stable and unstable conditions on one repetition maximum strength and muscle activity during dynamic squatting using absolute and relative loading.

Methods:

Ten recreationally weight-trained males participated in this study (age = 24.1 ± 2.0 y, height = 178.0 ± 5.6 cm, body mass = 83.7 ± 13.4 kg, 1RM/body mass = 1.53 ± 0.31), which involved two laboratory sessions separated by 1 wk. Linear position transducers were used to track bar displacement while subjects stood on a force plate for all trials. Vastus lateralis (VL), biceps femoris (BF) and erector spinae (L1) muscle activity (average integrated EMG [IEMG]) was also recorded during all trials. During the frst session subjects complete a one repetition maximum test in a stable dynamic squat (S1RM = 128.0 ± 31.4 kg) and an unstable dynamic squat (U1RM = 83.8 ± 17.3 kg) in a randomized order with a 30-min rest period between conditions. The second session consisted of the performance of three trials each for 12 different conditions (unstable and stable squats using three different absolute loads [six conditions] and unstable and stable squats using three different relative loads [six conditions]).

Results:

Results revealed a statistically significant difference between S1RM and U1RM values (P < .05). The stable trials resulted in the same or a significantly higher value for VL, BF and L1 muscle activity in comparison with the unstable trials for all twelve conditions.

Conclusions:

Unstable squatting is of equal or less (depending on the loading condition) benefit to improving or maximizing muscle activity during resistance exercise.

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Jan Wilke, Kristin Kalo, Daniel Niederer, Lutz Vogt and Winfried Banzer

human body are linked by means of connective tissue, and hence, a force transmission across myofascial chains has also been discussed as the underlying cause. 4 , 5 This line of evidence is supported by recent trials demonstrating the effectiveness of flexibility interventions based on myofascial

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James R. Chagdes, Joshua J. Liddy, Amanda J. Arnold, Laura J. Claxton and Jeffrey M. Haddad

Background Posture and Balance Assessments in Developmental Research The maturation of posture and balance is often examined by collecting center of pressure (CoP) data from research-grade force plates. The CoP time series is then used to calculate a variety of time-dependent and time

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Jos J. de Koning, Ruud W. de Boer, Gert de Groot and Gerrit Jan van Ingen Schenau

In speed skating, performance is related to the product of the amount of work per stroke and the stroke frequency. Work per stroke is dependent on the component of the push-off force in the direction perpendicular to the gliding direction of the skate. The push-off force at different velocities was measured in three trained speed skaters. The results showed that the peak push-off force and mean force do not change at different velocities, and that the stroke time was decreased at higher velocities. It can be concluded that these speed skaters regulate their velocity not by changing the push-off force but by changing their stroke time. The shape of push-off–time curves is dependent on push-off technique and differs during straight lane and curve skating.

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Xiaogang Hu and Karl M. Newell

This study investigated the asymmetry of bilateral interference in relation to the relative difference of force amplitude between hands and the hand dominance. In Experiment 1, one hand produced a fixed constant force of 5% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) while the other hand produced different constant forces of 5%, 20%, and 50% MVC in blocked conditions. Asymmetric interference in force amplitude alone was evident in that the hand producing the fixed low force showed a stronger interference than the hand performing the higher force. Asymmetric interference in hand dominance was also found in that more interference was observed when the nondominant left hand produced the higher force, a finding that does not support the hemisphere specialization hypothesis. Experiment 2 was performed to rule out the fixed force level interpretation compared with the low force level account and the fixed force was set at 50% MVC. The results were consistent with the findings in Experiment 1 showing asymmetric interference with force amplitude rather than with fixed force level. The findings revealed that without a timing constraint the task demand associated with force amplitude alone can induce the asymmetric bilateral interference. The external task asymmetry and intrinsic asymmetry of the organism interact and influence the bimanual force coordination and control patterns.

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Loren Z.F. Chiu, Brian K. Schilling, Andrew C. Fry and Lawrence W. Weiss

Displacement-based measurement systems are becoming increasingly popular for assessment of force expression variables during resistance exercise. Typically a linear position transducer (LPT) is attached to the barbell to measure displacement and a double differentiation technique is used to determine acceleration. Force is calculated as the product of mass and acceleration. Despite the apparent utility of these devices, validity data are scarce. To determine whether LPT can accurately estimate vertical ground reaction forces, two men and four women with moderate to extensive resistance training experience performed concentric-only (CJS) and rebound (RJS) jump squats, two sessions of each type in random order. CJS or RJS were performed with 30%, 50%, and 70% one-repetition maximum parallel back squat 5 minutes following a warm-up and again after a 10-min rest. Displacement was measured via LPT and acceleration was calculated using the finite-difference technique. Force was estimated from the weight of the lifter-barbell system and propulsion force from the lifter-barbell system. Vertical ground reaction force was directly measured with a single-component force platform. Two-way random average-measure intraclass correlations (ICC) were used to assess the reliability of obtained measures and compare the measurements obtained via each method. High reliability (ICC > 0.70) was found for all CJS variables across the load-spectrum. RJS variables also had high ICC except for time parameters for early force production. All variables were significantly (p < 0.01) related between LPT and force platform methods with no indication of systematic bias. The LPT appears to be a valid method of assessing force under these experimental conditions.

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Steven J. Obst, Lee Barber, Ashton Miller and Rod S. Barrett

Estimates of in vivo Achilles tendon (AT) force are needed to measure tendon mechanical properties as a function of the measured net ankle joint torque, and to understand AT function using musculoskeletal modeling approaches. The AT moment arm is required to convert the measured external ankle

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Christopher A. Knight, Adam R. Marmon and Dhiraj H. Poojari

Subjects learned to produce brief isometric force pulses that were 10% of their maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) force. Subjects became proficient at performing sets of 10 pulses within boundaries of 8–12% MVC, with visual feedback and without (kinesthetic sense). In both the control (Con, n = 10) and experimental (Exp, n = 20) groups, subjects performed two sets of 10 kinesthetically guided pulses. Subjects then either performed a 10-s MVC (Exp) or remained at rest (Con) between sets. Following the MVC, Exp subjects had force errors of +30%, whereas performance was maintained in Con. There was evidence for both muscular and neural contributions to these errors. Postactivation potentiation resulted in a 40% gain in muscle contractility (p = .003), and there was a 26% increase in the neural stimulation of muscle (p = .014). Multiple regression indicated that the change in neural input had a stronger relationship with force errors than the increased contractility.

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Aisha Khan and Stacey L. Gorniak

Previous studies of fine motor control have focused on the ability of participants to match their grip force production to a visually provided template. We investigated differences exhibited in pinch force control during variable force production templates, including sine-, sawtooth-, and square-wave templates. Our results indicate that increased force requirements are associated with increased error rates and a noisier frequency spectrum, consistent with previous studies. Our results also indicate that visual feedback, in the form of template shape, directly affect pinch force production features and motor unit firing patterns, despite the use of consistent baseline force requirements, amplitude changes, and visual signal frequency. This suggests that CNS modulation of motor unit responses can be triggered by basic changes in visual feedback unrelated to force requirements. The potential implications of error compensation based on this study due to aging are also discussed.