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Slobodan Jaric, Charli Tortoza, Ismael F.C. Fatarelli and Gil L. Almeida

A number of studies have analyzed various indices of the final position variability in order to provide insight into different levels of neuromotor processing during reaching movements. Yet the possible effects of movement kinematics on variability have often been neglected. The present study was designed to test the effects of movement direction and curvature on the pattern of movement variable errors. Subjects performed series of reaching movements over the same distance and into the same target. However, due either to changes in starting position or to applied obstacles, the movements were performed in different directions or along the trajectories of different curvatures. The pattern of movement variable errors was assessed by means of the principal component analysis applied on the 2-D scatter of movement final positions. The orientation of these ellipses demonstrated changes associated with changes in both movement direction and curvature. However, neither movement direction nor movement curvature affected movement variable errors assessed by area of the ellipses. Therefore it was concluded that the end-point variability depends partly, but not exclusively, on movement kinematics.

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Kreg G. Gruben, Lynn M. Rogers, Matthew W. Schmidt and Liming Tan

The force that healthy humans generated against a fixed pedal was measured and compared with that predicted by four models. The participants (n = 11) were seated on a stationary bicycle and performed brief pushing efforts against an instrumented pedal with the crank fixed. Pushes were performed to 10 force magnitude targets and at 12 crank angles. The increasing magnitude portion of the sagittal-plane force path for each push effort was fitted with a line to determine the direction of the muscle component of the foot force. Those directions varied systematically with the position of the pedal (crank angle) such that the force path lines intersected a common region superior and slightly anterior to the hip. The ability of four models to predict force path direction was tested. All four models captured the general variation of direction with pedal position. Two of the models provided the best performance. One was a musculoskeletal model consisting of nine muscles with parameters adjusted to provide the best possible ft. The other model was derived from (a) observations that the lines-of-action of the muscle component of foot force tended to intersect in a common region near the hip, and (b) the corresponding need for foot force to intersect the center-of-mass during walking. Thus, this model predicted force direction at each pedal position as that of a line intersecting the pedal pivot and a common point located near the hip (divergent point). The results suggest that the control strategy employed in this seated pushing task reflects the extensive experience of the leg in directing force appropriately to maintain upright posture and that relative muscle strengths have adapted to that pattern of typical activation.

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Kreg G. Gruben, Lynn M. Rogers and Matthew W. Schmidt

Control of the force exerted by the foot on the ground is critical to human locomotion. During running on a treadmill and pushing against a fixed pedal, humans increased foot force in a linear manner in sagittal plane force space. However, for pushes against a moving pedal, force output was linear for some participants but slightly curved for others. A primary difference between the static and dynamic pedaling studies was that the dynamic study required participants to push with varying peak effort levels, whereas a constant peak effort level was used for the fixed pedal pushes. The present study evaluated the possibility that force direction varied with level of effort. Seated humans pushed against a fixed pedal to a series of force magnitude targets. The force direction varied systematically with effort level consistent with the force path curvature observed for dynamic pedaling.

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Rachael D. Seidler

Visuomotor adaptive processes were examined by testing transfer of adaptation between similar conditions. Participants made manual aiming movements with a joystick to hit targets on a computer screen, with real-time feedback display of their movement. They adapted to three different rotations of the display in a sequential fashion, with a return to baseline display conditions between rotations. Adaptation was better when participants had prior adaptive experiences. When performance was assessed using direction error (calculated at the time of peak velocity) and initial endpoint error (error before any overt corrective actions), transfer was greater when the final rotation reflected an addition of previously experienced rotations (adaptation order 30° rotation, 15°, 45°) than when it was a subtraction of previously experienced conditions (adaptation order 45° rotation, 15°, 30°). Transfer was equal regardless of adaptation order when performance was assessed with final endpoint error (error following any discrete, corrective actions). These results imply the existence of multiple independent processes in visuomotor adaptation.

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Yuji Matsuda, Yoshihisa Sakurai, Keita Akashi and Yasuyuki Kubo

In swimming, horizontal velocity fluctuations in the whole-body center of mass (CoM) are related to the energy cost. 1 , 2 Furthermore, variations in the CoM velocity, maximal and minimal CoM velocities in swimming direction during a stroke cycle, are related to the swimming performance. 2 , 3

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Aiko Sakurai, Kengo Harato, Yutaro Morishige, Shu Kobayashi, Yasuo Niki and Takeo Nagura

concluded that risk factor was laterally flexed the trunk in the frontal plane toward the side of the injured knee without altering the alignment of the feet. On the other hand, toe direction is known as a critical factor affecting knee biomechanics during various movements. 18 – 21 Tran et al 21

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Tyler R. Keith, Tara A. Condon, Ayana Phillips, Patrick O. McKeon and Deborah L. King

The Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) is a valid and reliable measure of dynamic postural control. Center of pressure (COP) behavior during the SEBT could provide additional information about direction-dependent SEBT balance strategies. The purpose of this study was to quantify spatiotemporal COP differences using COP area and velocity among three different SEBT reach directions (anterior, posteromedial, posterolateral). The anterior direction COP velocity was significantly lower than both posterior directions. However, the anterior COP area was significantly greater than posterior. Based on COP behavior, the anterior and posterior reach directions appear to use different postural control strategies on the SEBT.

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Håvard Lorås, Gertjan Ettema and Stig Leirdal

Changes in pedaling rate during cycling have been found to alter the pedal forces. Especially, the force effectiveness is reduced when pedaling rate is elevated. However, previous findings related to the muscular force component indicate strong preferences for certain force directions. Furthermore, inertial forces (due to limb inertia) generated at the pedal increase with elevated pedaling rate. It is not known how pedaling rate alters the inertia component and subsequently force effectiveness. With this in mind, we studied the effect of pedal rate on the direction of the muscle component, quantified with force effectiveness. Cycle kinetics were recorded for ten male competitive cyclists at five cadences (60–100 rpm) during unloaded cycling (to measure inertia) and at a submaximal load (~260 W). The force effectiveness decreased as a response to increased pedaling rate, but subtracting inertia eliminated this effect. This indicates consistent direction of the muscle component of the foot force.

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Andrew R. Kemper, Joel D. Stitzel, Craig McNally, H. Clay Gabler and Stefan M. Duma

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of loading direction on the structural response of the human clavicle subjected to three-point bending. A total of 20 clavicles were obtained from 10 unembalmed fresh-frozen postmortem human subjects ranging from 45 to 92 years of age. The right and left clavicles from each subject were randomly divided into two test groups. One group was impacted at 0° from the transverse plane, and the second group was impacted at 45° angle from the transverse plane. There was no statistically significant difference in peak force (p = .22), peak moment (p = .30), or peak displacement (p = .44) between specimens impacted at 0° versus 45° from the transverse plane. However, there was a significant difference in the structural stiffness (p = .01) and peak strain (p < .01) between specimens impacted at 0° versus 45° from the transverse plane. The peak strain, however, must be evaluated with caution because of the variation in fracture location relative to the strain gauge. Due to the controlled matched data set, the differences in the structural stiffness with respect to loading direction can be attributed to the complex geometry of the clavicle and not material differences.

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Eadric Bressel and Gary D. Heise

The purpose of this study was to compare muscle activity, kinematic, and oxygen consumption characteristics between forward and reverse arm cranking. Twenty able-bodied men performed 5-min exercise bouts of forward and reverse arm cranking while electromyographic (EMG), kinematic, and oxygen consumption data were collected. EMG activity of biceps brachii, triceps brachii, deltoid, and infraspinatus muscles were recorded and analyzed to reflect on-time durations and amplitudes for each half-cycle (first 180° and second 180° of crank cycle). Kinematic data were quantified from digitization of video images, and oxygen consumption was calculated from expired gases. Dependent measures were analyzed with a MANOVA and follow-up univariate procedures; alpha was set at .01. The biceps brachii, deltoid, and infraspinatus muscles displayed greater on-time durations and amplitudes for select half-cycles of reverse arm cranking compared to forward arm cranking (p < 0.01). Peak wrist flexion was 9% less in reverse arm cranking (p < 0.01), and oxygen consumption values did not differ between conditions (p = 0.25). Although there were no differences in oxygen consumption and only minor differences kinematically, reverse arm cranking requires greater muscle activity from the biceps brachii, deltoid, and infraspinatus muscles. These results may allow clinicians to more effectively choose an arm cranking direction that either minimizes or maximizes upper extremity muscle activity depending on the treatment objectives.