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Kurt L. Mudie, Amitabh Gupta, Simon Green, Hiroaki Hobara and Peter J. Clothier

This study assessed the agreement between Kvert calculated from 4 different methods of estimating vertical displacement of the center of mass (COM) during single-leg hopping. Healthy participants (N = 38) completed a 10-s single-leg hopping effort on a force plate, with 3D motion of the lower limb, pelvis, and trunk captured. Derived variables were calculated for a total of 753 hop cycles using 4 methods, including: double integration of the vertical ground reaction force, law of falling bodies, a marker cluster on the sacrum, and a segmental analysis method. Bland-Altman plots demonstrated that Kvert calculated using segmental analysis and double integration methods have a relatively small bias (0.93 kN⋅m–1) and 95% limits of agreement (–1.89 to 3.75 kN⋅m–1). In contrast, a greater bias was revealed between sacral marker cluster and segmental analysis (–2.32 kN⋅m–1), sacral marker cluster and double integration (–3.25 kN⋅m–1), and the law of falling bodies compared with all methods (17.26–20.52 kN⋅m–1). These findings suggest the segmental analysis and double integration methods can be used interchangeably for the calculation of Kvert during single-leg hopping. The authors propose the segmental analysis method to be considered the gold standard for the calculation of Kvert during single-leg, on-the-spot hopping.

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J.-M. John Wilson, D. Gordon E. Robertson and J. Peter Stothart

In an effort to seek further understanding of lower limb muscle function in the rowing movement, an electromyographic analysis was undertaken of rowers rowing on a Gjessing ergometer. A strain gauged transducer was inserted in the ergometer linkage between handle and flywheel to detect pulling force. Electrodes were placed on the following lower limb muscles: gluteus maximus, biceps femoris, rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, gastrocnemius, and tibialis anterior. Linear envelope electromyograms from each muscle and the force signals were sampled synchronously at 50 Hz. The results indicated that all six muscles were active from catch to finish of the drive phase. Biceps femoris, gluteus maximus, gastrocnemius, and vastus lateralis all began their activity at or just prior to catch and reached maximal excitation near peak force of the stroke. Rectus femoris and tibialis anterior activity began prior to the catch and reached maximal excitation subsequent to peak force. The coactivation of the five leg muscles, of which four were biarticular, included potentially antagonistic actions that would cancel each other’s effects. Clearly, however, other explanations must be considered. Both gastrocnemius and biceps femoris have been shown to act as knee extensors and may do so in the case of the rowing action. Furthermore, rectus femoris may act with unchanging length as a knee extensor by functioning as a rigid link between the pelvis and tibia. In this manner, energy created by the hip extensors is transferred across the knee joint via the isometrically contracting rectus femoris muscle.

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Rose M. Angell, Stephen A. Butterfield, Shihfen Tu, E. Michael Loovis, Craig A. Mason and Christopher J. Nightingale

Object control skills (OCS) provide children the means to be physically active. However, gender equality in some OCS remains elusive. Particularly troublesome is the basic throwing pattern and, by extension, the striking pattern, both of which rely on forceful, rapid rotation of the pelvis, trunk, and shoulders. Some scholars argue that sex differences in throwing and striking are rooted in human evolution. The purpose of this study was to examine development of throwing and striking at the fundamental movement level. The design was multi-cohort sequential: 280 boys and girls grades K–8 (ages 4–15) were tested up to three times per year for 5 years on the Test of Gross Motor Development (TGMD-2). Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was applied to analyze individual growth curves. As anticipated, significant (p < .001) age-related gains were found for throwing and striking. In terms of sex (biology) or gender (sociocultural) differences, boys performed better longitudinally at throwing (p < .05) and striking (p < .05). These results reinforce theories that girls may be disadvantaged in achieving proficiency in throwing and striking. Interventions designed to enhance development of these skills should be in place long before grade 4, when most physical education curricula transitions to games and sports.

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Li-Xin Guo, Zhao-Wen Wang, Yi-Min Zhang, Kim-Kheng Lee, Ee-Chon Teo, He Li and Bang-Chun Wen

The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of material property changes in the spinal components on the resonant frequency characteristics of the human spine. Several investigations have reported the material property sensitivity of human spine under static loading conditions, but less research has been devoted to the material property sensitivity of spinal biomechanical characteristics under a vibration environment. A detailed three-dimensional finite element model of the human spine, T12– pelvis, was built and used to predict the influence of material property variation on the resonant frequencies of the human spine. The simulation results reveal that material properties of spinal components have obvious influences on the dynamic characteristics of the spine. The annulus ground substance is the dominant component affecting the vertical resonant frequencies of the spine. The percentage change of the resonant frequency relative to the basic condition was more than 20% if Young’s modulus of disc annulus is less than 1.5 MPa. The vertical resonant frequency may also decrease if Poisson’s ratio of nucleus pulposus of intervertebral disc decreases.

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Yoichi Iino, Atsushi Fukushima and Takeji Kojima

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relevance of hip joint angles to the production of the pelvic rotation torque in fast-pitch softball hitting and to examine the effect of ball height on this production. Thirteen advanced female softball players hit stationary balls at three different heights: high, middle, and low. The pelvic rotation torque, defined as the torque acting on the pelvis through the hip joints about the pelvic superior–inferior axis, was determined from the kinematic and force plate data using inverse dynamics. Irrespective of the ball heights, the rear hip extension, rear hip external rotation, front hip adduction, and front hip flexion torques contributed to the production of pelvic rotation torque. Although the contributions of the adduction and external rotation torques at each hip joint were significantly different among the ball heights, the contributions of the front and rear hip joint torques were similar among the three ball heights owing to cancelation of the two torque components. The timings of the peaks of the hip joint torque components were significantly different, suggesting that softball hitters may need to adjust the timings of the torque exertions fairly precisely to rotate the upper body effectively.

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Ashley L. Kapron, Stephen K. Aoki, Christopher L. Peters, Steve A. Maas, Michael J. Bey, Roger Zauel and Andrew E. Anderson

Accurate measurements of in-vivo hip kinematics may elucidate the mechanisms responsible for impaired function and chondrolabral damage in hips with femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). The objectives of this study were to quantify the accuracy and demonstrate the feasibility of using dual fluoroscopy to measure in-vivo hip kinematics during clinical exams used in the assessment of FAI. Steel beads were implanted into the pelvis and femur of two cadavers. Specimens were imaged under dual fluoroscopy during the impingement exam, FABER test, and rotational profile. Bead locations measured with model-based tracking were compared with those measured using dynamic radiostereometric analysis. Error was quantified by bias and precision, defined as the average and standard deviation of the differences between tracking methods, respectively. A normal male volunteer was also imaged during clinical exams. Bias and precision along a single axis did not exceed 0.17 and 0.21 mm, respectively. Comparing kinematics, positional error was less than 0.48 mm and rotational error was less than 0.58°. For the volunteer, kinematics were reported as joint angles and bone-bone distance. These results demonstrate that dual fluoroscopy and model-based tracking can accurately measure hip kinematics in living subjects during clinical exams of the hip.

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Joseph S. Soltys and Sara E. Wilson

Regulating spinal motion requires proprioceptive feedback. While studies have investigated the sensing of static lumbar postures, few have investigated sensing lumbar movement speed. In this study, proprioceptive contributions to lateral trunk motion were examined during paraspinal muscle vibration. Seventeen healthy subjects performed lateral trunk flexion movements while lying prone with pelvis fixed. A 44.5-Hz vibratory stimulus was applied to the paraspinal muscles at the L3 level. Subjects attempted to match target paces of 9.5, 13.5, and 17.5 deg/s with and without paraspinal muscle vibration. Vibration of the paraspinal musculature was found to result in slower overall lateral flexion. This effect was found to have a greater influence in the difference of directional velocities with vibration applied to the left musculature. These changes reflect the sensitivity of lumbar velocity sense to applied vibration leading to the perception of faster muscle lengthening and ultimately resulting in slower movement velocities. This suggests that muscle spindle organs modulate the ability to sense velocity of motion and are important in the control of dynamic motion of the spine.

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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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Jennifer E. Earl

Context:

Gluteus medius (GM) contraction during single-leg stance prevents the contralateral pelvis from “dropping,” providing stability for lower extremity motion.

Objective:

To determine which combination of hip rotation and abduction exercise results in the greatest activity of the GM and whether the GM responds to increased loads in these exercises.

Design and Setting:

Repeated measures, laboratory.

Subjects:

20 healthy volunteers.

Interventions:

Resistance (2.26 and 4.53 kg) was provided to 3 variations of a single-leg-stance exercise: hip abduction only, abduction-internal rotation (ABD-IR), and abduction-external rotation.

Measurements:

Muscle activity was recorded from the anterior and middle portions of the GM using surface electromyography.

Results:

ABD-IR produced the most activity in the anterior and middle sections of the GM muscle. The 4.53-kg load produced significantly more activity than the 2.26-kg load (P < .05).

Conclusions:

The GM is most active when performing abduction and internal rotation of the hip. This information could be used to develop GM-strengthening exercises.

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Trent M. Guess, Swithin Razu, Amirhossein Jahandar, Marjorie Skubic and Zhiyu Huo

The Microsoft Kinect is becoming a widely used tool for inexpensive, portable measurement of human motion, with the potential to support clinical assessments of performance and function. In this study, the relative osteokinematic Cardan joint angles of the hip and knee were calculated using the Kinect 2.0 skeletal tracker. The pelvis segments of the default skeletal model were reoriented and 3-dimensional joint angles were compared with a marker-based system during a drop vertical jump and a hip abduction motion. Good agreement between the Kinect and marker-based system were found for knee (correlation coefficient = 0.96, cycle RMS error = 11°, peak flexion difference = 3°) and hip (correlation coefficient = 0.97, cycle RMS = 12°, peak flexion difference = 12°) flexion during the landing phase of the drop vertical jump and for hip abduction/adduction (correlation coefficient = 0.99, cycle RMS error = 7°, peak flexion difference = 8°) during isolated hip motion. Nonsagittal hip and knee angles did not correlate well for the drop vertical jump. When limited to activities in the optimal capture volume and with simple modifications to the skeletal model, the Kinect 2.0 skeletal tracker can provide limited 3-dimensional kinematic information of the lower limbs that may be useful for functional movement assessment.