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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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Nobuyuki Inui and Yumi Katsura

We conducted an experiment to examine age-related differences in the control of force and timing in a finger-tapping sequence with an attenuated-force tap. Participants between 7 and 20 years old tapped on a load cell with feedback on practice trials. They were required to recall the force pattern (300 g, 300 g, 300 g, 100 g) and the intertap interval (400 ms) without feedback on test trials. Analysis indicated that the last attenuated tap affected the first three taps of the tapping sequence in adults and adolescents but not in children. Adults and adolescents appeared to respond with four taps as a chunk, resulting in a contextual effect on the timing of force control, but younger children had difficulty with such chunking. Further, adults and adolescents were able to more accurately produce individual force magnitudes to match target magnitudes than younger children. For the ratio of force in serial positions 1:4, 2:4, and 3:4, consequently, 7- to 8-year-old children had lower ratios than the other age groups. Although there was no difference among age groups for timing control of peak force to press duration as a control strategy of force, 7- to 8-year-old children spent more time to produce force than the other age groups. Peak force with a decreased force was more variable in the attenuated force serial position (4) than in the other serial positions in all five age groups. Peak force variability was particularly robust in younger children. These findings suggest that younger children have difficulty with both temporal and spatial (i.e., magnitude) components of force control.

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Caroline Lisee, Tom Birchmeier, Arthur Yan, Brent Geers, Kaitlin O’Hagan, Callum Davis and Christopher Kuenze

ACL injury associated with common sport-related tasks. Kinetic variables, such as peak vertical ground reaction force (vGRF), and linear loading rates provide key insights into the characteristics of forces acting on the body as well as an individual’s response to these forces during functional tasks

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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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Javin C. Pierce, Malcolm H. Pope, Per Renstrom, Robert J. Johnson, Janet Dufek and Charles Dillman

A method for measuring the forces between the shoe and ski and upon the pole has been developed. Instrumented skis and poles are used with a portable data acquisition system that is carried by the skier in the field. Elite, top-level collegiate, and citizen skiers were used as subjects. Skiers performed the diagonal stride, and a marathon skate. Axial force levels at the forefoot were found to reach 164%, and 120% of body weight in the diagonal skate strides, respectively.

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Marco J. Konings, Jordan Parkinson, Inge Zijdewind and Florentina J. Hettinga

and by relating these to neuromuscular adjustments in the knee extensors and perceived exertion. We hypothesized that the presence of a virtual opponent would invite a change in pacing and evoke an improvement in performance, leading to a greater decline in voluntary muscle force after a 4-km TT than

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Mehmet Uygur, Goran Prebeg and Slobodan Jaric

We compared two standard methods routinely used to assess the grip force (GF; perpendicular force that hand exerts upon the hand-held object) in the studies of coordination of GF and load force (LF; tangential force) in manipulation tasks. A variety of static tasks were tested, and GF-LF coupling (i.e., the maximum cross-correlation between the forces) was assessed. GF was calculated either as the minimum value of the two opposing GF components acting upon the hand-held object (GFmin) or as their average value (GFavg). Although both methods revealed high GF-LF correlation coefficients, most of the data revealed the higher values for GFavg than for GFmin. Therefore, we conclude that the CNS is more likely to take into account GFavg than GFmin when controlling static manipulative actions as well as that GFavg should be the variable of choice in kinetic analyses of static manipulation tasks.

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Prue Cormie, Jeffrey M. McBride and Grant O. McCaulley

The objective of this study was to investigate the validity of power measurement techniques utilizing various kinematic and kinetic devices during the jump squat (JS), squat (S) and power clean (PC). Ten Division I male athletes were assessed for power output across various intensities: 0, 12, 27, 42, 56, 71, and 85% of one repetition maximum strength (1RM) in the JS and S and 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90% of 1RM in the PC. During the execution of each lift, six different data collection systems were utilized; (1) one linear position transducer (1-LPT); (2) one linear position transducer with the system mass representing the force (1-LPT+MASS); (3) two linear position transducers (2-LPT); (4) the force plate (FP); (5) one linear position transducer and a force plate (1-LPT+FP); (6) two linear position transducers and a force place (2-LPT+FP). Kinetic and kinematic variables calculated using the six methodologies were compared. Vertical power, force, and velocity differed significantly between 2-LPT+FP and 1-LPT, 1-LPT+MASS, 2-LPT, and FP methodologies across various intensities throughout the JS, S, and PC. These differences affected the load–power relationship and resulted in the transfer of the optimal load to a number of different intensities. This examination clearly indicates that data collection and analysis procedures influence the power output calculated as well as the load–power relationship of dynamic lower body movements.

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Nobuyuki Inui

An experiment was conducted to examine contextual effects of the magnitude of changes in force on force control in a finger-tapping sequence with an accentuated- (accentuated-force condition) or attenuated-force tap (attenuated-force condition). Participants were trained to produce a finger-tapping sequence with an intertap interval of 500 ms and four force patterns. During practice, visual force feedback pertaining to the two target forces in the tapping sequences was provided. After practice, the participants reproduced the learned tapping sequences in the absence of feedback. A main result was that the last accentuated-force tap affected the first three taps of the tapping sequence. For the accentuated-force conditions, the larger the difference between the first three target forces and the last target force, the larger the first three forces. This indicates the contextual effect of serial position for force control. This effect was not observed, however, under the attenuated-force conditions.