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Jason D. Vescovi

The aim of this study was to examine the impact of maximum sprint speed on peak and mean sprint speed during youth female field hockey matches. Two high-level female field hockey teams (U-17, n = 24, and U-21, n = 20) were monitored during a 4-game international test series using global position system technology and tested for maximum sprint speed. Dependent variables were compared using a 3-factor ANOVA (age group, position, and speed classification); effect sizes (Cohen d) and confidence limits were also calculated. Maximum sprint speed was similar between age groups and positions, with faster players having greater speed than slower players (29.3 ± 0.4 vs 27.2 ± 1.1 km/h). Overall, peak match speed in youth female field hockey players reaches approximately 90% of maximum sprint speed. Absolute peak match speed and mean sprint speed during matches were similar among the age groups (except match 1) and positions (except match 2); however, peak match speed was greater for faster players in matches 3 and 4. No differences were observed in the relative proportion for mean sprint speeds for age groups or positions, but slower players consistently displayed similar relative mean sprint speeds by using a greater proportion of their maximum sprint speed.

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Jorge López-Fernández, Javier Sánchez-Sánchez, Jorge García-Unanue, José Luis Felipe, Enrique Colino and Leonor Gallardo

Purpose: Recent studies have shown that soccer players’ responses are similar on natural grass (NG) and artificial turf (AT), but they did not control the mechanical properties of these surfaces. This work aimed to analyze the influence of the game surface on amateur soccer players’ physical and physiological responses using a soccer simulation protocol. Methods: A total of 16 amateur players performed 3 bouts of the soccer simulation protocol on AT, and, on another day, 3 bouts on NG. The mechanical properties of both surfaces were recorded. The order of surfaces was randomly established for each participant. Physiological responses of players were assessed before and after the 6-repeated-sprints test existing at the midpoint of each bout. Fatigue (% best; % diff) and general variables (total time; best time, mean time; maximum speed) for both the repeated sprint test (RST) and the agility tests (nonlinear actions at maximum speed) incorporated into the soccer simulation protocol were also analyzed. Results: The 2 surfaces displayed different mechanical properties. Physical responses were found similar for both surfaces (P > .05) before and after the RST. There were no surface differences in sprint times or fatigue variables for the RST (P > .05). The agility test was faster on AT than on NG in bout 1 (average speed [+1.17 km/h;P = .037]; agility test cut time [−0.31 s; P = .027] and best time [−0.52 s; P = .042]). Conclusions: The differences in the mechanical properties of the 2 surfaces are not sufficient to cause differences in the physiological and physical responses of soccer players, although they may affect turns and cuts.

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Rodrigo de Marche Baldon, Daniel Ferreira Moreira Lobato, Lívia Pinheiro Carvalho, Paulo Roberto Pereira Santiago, Benedito Galvão Benze and Fábio Viadanna Serrão

The purposes of this study were to compare lower-limb kinematics between genders, and determine the relationships among eccentric hip abductor and lateral rotator torques and lower-limb kinematics. The movements of the pelvis, femur, and knee were calculated for 16 women and 16 men during the single-leg squat. Eccentric hip abductor and lateral rotator torques were measured using an isokinetic dynamometer. The results showed that women had greater contralateral pelvic depression, femur adduction, and knee abduction than men. The eccentric hip abductor and lateral rotator torques were correlated with coronal plane femur and knee movements in the overall sample. When the genders were analyzed separately, it was observed that women with greater eccentric hip abductor torque exhibited less femur adduction and femur medial rotation, and greater knee adduction excursion. No significant relationship was observed between the isokinetic and kinematic variables in the male group. The differences between the genders help to explain the greater rate of knee disorders observed in women. Moreover, the eccentric hip abduction action seemed to be more important in women to control the lower-limb movements.

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Kristin E. Meyer, Erin E. Saether, Emily K. Soiney, Meegan S. Shebeck, Keith L. Paddock and Paula M. Ludewig

Proper scapular motion is crucial for normal shoulder mechanics. Scapular motion affects glenohumeral joint function during throwing, yet little is known about this dynamic activity. Asymptomatic subjects (10 male and 10 female), ages 21 to 45, were analyzed. Electromagnetic surface sensors on the sternum, acromion, and humerus were used to collect 3-D motion data during three trials of low-velocity throwing. Scapular angular position data were described for five predetermined events throughout the throw corresponding with classic descriptions of throwing phases, and trial-to-trial reliability was determined. ANOVA compared scapular angles across events. Subjects demonstrated good to excellent reliability between trials of the throw (ICC 0.74–0.98). The scapula demonstrated a pattern of external rotation, upward rotation (peak of approx. 40°), and posterior tilting during the initial phases of the throw, progressing into internal rotation after maximum humeral horizontal abduction. During the arm acceleration phase, the scapula moved toward greater internal rotation and began anteriorly tilting. At maximum humeral internal rotation, the scapula ended in internal rotation (55°), upward rotation (20°), and anterior tilting (3°).

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Elizabeth Coker and Terry Kaminski

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of visual condition (low light, full light, and full light with mirror) on balance control and technical form during two technical dance movements in a group of elite collegiate dance students. Dancers demonstrated higher center of pressure velocity indicating lower control while performing a static dance task (parallel relevé retiré) and a dynamic dance task (fondu relevé en croix) under low light conditions than either lighted condition. Measures of Western ballet technique (pelvic obliquity, knee extension, and ankle plantar flexion) showed no decrement under low light conditions. No effect of concurrent mirror feedback was found on either center of pressure velocity or technical requirements of the dance tasks.

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Osmar Pinto Neto, Marcio Magini and Marcelo M. F. Saba

The main goal of this article is to quantify the contribution of effective mass (me) and hand-speed (shi) on the palm strike performance of kung fu athletes (kung fu group) compared with nonpractitioners (control group). All subjects were asked to strike a basketball. Hand and ball speed (sbf) were determined by high-speed video analysis. The value for me was determined by an equation that does not depend upon post-impact measurement of the hand speed. The results show that kung fu athletes had greater shi (6.67 [SD 1.42] m/s), p = 0.042), higher me (2.62 [SD 0.33] kg, p = 0.004), and greater sbf (9.00 [SD 1.89] m/s), p = 0.004) than the nonpractitioners (5.04 [SD 0.57] m/s, 1.33 [SD 0.19] kg, and 5.72 [SD 0.44] m/s, respectively). Comparing the average values obtained for me and hand and forearm mass (m), it was found that for the control group me is statistically equal to m (p = 0.917), whereas for the kung fu group me is significant greater than m (p = 0.003). It is suggested that for impacts against heavier objects, the effective mass would be the main factor to distinguish a martial artstrained from an untrained subject.

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Takeo Nagura, Hideo Matsumoto, Yoshimori Kiriyama, Ajit Chaudhari and Thomas P. Andriacchi

The aim of the study was to estimate the tibiofemoral joint force in deep flexion to consider how the mechanical load affects the knee. We hypothesize that the joint force should not become sufficiently large to damage the joint under normal contact area, but should become deleterious to the joint under the limited contact area. Sixteen healthy knees were analyzed using a motion capture system, a force plate, a surface electromyography, and a knee model, and then tibiofemoral joint contact forces were calculated. Also, a contact stress simulation using the contact areas from the literature was performed. The peak joint contact forces (M ± SD) were 4566 ± 1932 N at 140 degrees in rising from full squat and 4479 ± 1478 N at 90 degrees in rising from kneeling. Under normal contact area, the tibiofemoral contact stresses in deep flexion were less than 5 MPa and did not exceed the stress to damage the cartilage. The contact stress simulation suggests that knee prosthesis having the contact area smaller than 200 mm2 may be problematic since the contact stress in deep flexion would become larger than 21 MPa, and it would lead damage or wear of the polyethylene.

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Tishya A.L. Wren and Paul C. Mitiguy

Clinical gait analysis usually describes joint kinematics using Euler angles, which depend on the sequence of rotation. Studies have shown that pelvic obliquity angles from the traditional tilt-obliquity-rotation (TOR) Euler angle sequence can deviate considerably from clinical expectations and have suggested that a rotation-obliquity-tilt (ROT) Euler angle sequence be used instead. We propose a simple alternate approach in which clinical joint angles are defined and exactly calculated in terms of Euler angles from any rotation sequence. Equations were derived to calculate clinical pelvic elevation, progression, and lean angles from TOR and ROT Euler angles. For the ROT Euler angles, obliquity was exactly the same as the clinical elevation angle, rotation was similar to the clinical progression angle, and tilt was similar to the clinical lean angle. Greater differences were observed for TOR. These results support previous findings that ROT is preferable to TOR for calculating pelvic Euler angles for clinical interpretation. However, we suggest that exact clinical angles can and should be obtained through a few extra calculations as demonstrated in this technical note.

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Miriam Klous, Erich Müller and Hermann Schwameder

Limited data exists on knee biomechanics in alpine ski turns despite the high rate of injuries associated with this maneuver. The purpose of the current study was to compare knee joint loading between a carved and a skidded ski turn and between the inner and outer leg. Kinetic data were collected using Kistler mobile force plates. Kinematic data were collected with five synchronized, panning, tilting, and zooming cameras. Inertial properties of the segments were calculated using an extended version of the Yeadon model. Knee joint forces and moments were calculated using inverse dynamics analysis. The obtained results indicate that knee joint loading in carving is not consistently greater than knee joint loading in skidding. In addition, knee joint loading at the outer leg is not always greater than at the inner leg. Differentiation is required between forces and moments, the direction of the forces and moments, and the phase of the turn that is considered. Even though the authors believe that the analyzed turns are representative, results have to be interpreted with caution due to the small sample size.

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Jonathan Sinclair, Jack Hebron and Paul J. Taylor

The principal source of measurement error in three-dimensional analyses is the definition of the joint center about which segmental rotations occur. The hip joint has received considerable attention in three-dimensional modeling analyses yet the reliability of the different techniques for the definition of the knee joint center has yet to be established. This study investigated the reliability of five different knee joint center estimation techniques: femoral epicondyle, femoral condyle, tibial ridge, plugin-gait, and functional. Twelve male participants walked at 1.25 m·s−1 and three-dimensional kinetics/kinematics of the knee and ankle were collected. The knee joint center was defined twice using each technique (test-and-retest) and the joint kinetic/kinematic data were applied to both. Wilcoxon rank tests and intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) were used to compare test and retest angular parameters and kinematic waveforms. The results show significant differences in coronal and transverse planes angulation using the tibial ridge, plug-in-gait, and functional methods. The strongest test-retest ICCs were observed for the femoral epicondyle and femoral condyle configurations. The findings from the current investigation advocate that the femoral epicondyle and femoral condyle techniques for the estimation of the knee joint center are currently the most reliable techniques.