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Victoria L. Goosey and Ian G. Campbell

Pushing economy and wheelchair propulsion technique were examined for 8 wheelchair racers on a motorized treadmill at 6.0, 6.5, and 7.0 m/s. Kinematic data for the sagittal view were collected by a video camera for two-dimensional analysis. Adaptations to speed changes occurred, initially by a decrease in cycle time and an increase in cycle rate, and later by an increase in the flexion of the elbow. At each speed there were large variations in pushing economy between individuals. The relationship between pushing economy and selected kinematic variables revealed that at 6.0, 6.5, and 7.0 m/s, economy was associated with (a) the lighter athletes (r = .89, .86, .83), (b) a greater range of elbow movement (r = -.85, -.65, -.63), and (c) a lower push rate (r = .73, .81, .63), respectively. Effects of lesion level and wheelchair design may be more important in explaining differences in pushing economy than differences in propulsion technique.

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Victoria L. Goosey, Neil E. Fowler and Ian G. Campbell

The aim of the study was to examine and compare the propulsion techniques of senior male, senior female, and junior male athletes and to determine the relationship between the kinematic variables and performance. A two-dimensional video analysis was performed on the 800 m finals (n = 23) at the 1994 British Wheelchair National Track Championships. From this, the angle of lean, elbow angle, and the cycle dynamics were determined. The senior male athletes achieved a faster maximum velocity (7.3 ± 0.3 m.s-1) than that achieved by the senior female (5.9 ± 1.0 m.s1) and junior male athletes (6.0 ± 1.0 m.s-1), resulting in a greater distance covered during each push cycle. The kinematic analysis showed that the junior athletes adopted a 5° more upright position and spent less time in contact with the hand-rim (25%) than the senior athletes. A moderate correlation was found between cycle distance and performance time (r = -0.68; p < 0.01). In conclusion, this study suggests that there are kinematic differences between senior male, senior female, and junior male wheelchair athletes.

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David S. Haydon, Ross A. Pinder, Paul N. Grimshaw and William S.P. Robertson

Propulsion techniques are expected to differ across classifications due to differences in trunk, arm, and hand function. 11 It is currently unclear whether propulsion kinematics differ substantially within classification groups and how this affects key performance variables such as acceleration and sprint

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Aitor Iturricastillo, Cristina Granados, Raúl Reina, José Manuel Sarabia, Ander Romarate and Javier Yanci

factors related to wheelchair propulsion could have an influence, such as wheelchair–user interface, trunk function/activity, or propulsion technique, 10 and not only the upper-limb power output. Therefore, it might be interesting for coaches not only to train muscle strength with BP exercise but also to

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Thomas J. O’Connor, Rick N. Robertson and Rory A. Cooper

Three-dimensional kinematic variables and their relationship to the physiology of racing wheelchair propulsion were studied. Six male wheelchair athletes performed two trials (medium and maximum speed) of 3 min each. VO2, VO2/kg, VE, and HR were measured. Results showed that at medium speed, wrist velocity on hand contact was significantly correlated with VO2/kg. At maximum speed, elbow velocity during preparatory phase was significantly correlated with VO2. Stepwise regression showed wrist trajectory angle and elbow velocity during preparatory phase were significantly correlated with VO2/kg. Results indicate that kinematic variables recorded prior to and on hand contact with the pushrim are significant variables in developing a more efficient racing wheelchair propulsion technique. Results of this study indicate a need to educate coaches of wheelchair track athletes concerning the best racing wheelchair propulsion technique.

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Luc H.V. van der Woude, Dirk-Jan E.J. Veeger and Rients H. Rozendal

A review of wheelchair research within the scope of the wheelchair as a means of daily ambulation is presented. The relevance of a combined biomechanical and physiological research approach is advocated for enhancing the body of knowledge of wheelchair ergonomics, that is, the wheelchair/user interaction in relation to aspects of vehicle mechanics and the user’s physical condition. Results of experiments regarding variations in the wheelchair/user interface stress the possibilities of optimization in terms of wheelchair dimensions and user characteristics. Analysis of propulsion technique is aimed at the within-cycle characteristics and the time-dependent organization of technique.

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Ron Davis, Gale Gehlsen and Jerry D. Wilkerson

This study quantitatively analyzed the backward propulsion technique used by elite Class II CP wheelchair athletes. Six subjects, 3 males and 3 females, were selected from the 1984 International Games for the Disabled. The subjects were filmed in a staged setting during a sprint start for the first three complete cycles. A digitizer interfaced to an Apple II+ computer was employed to digitize the film data. A computer program served to reduce the data into linear and angular kinematic components. For the purposes of analysis, the foot propulsive movement cycles or thrust cycles were divided into the two movement phases of push and recovery. The results of the study indicated that the initial three movement cycles appeared to be characterized by longer push than recovery time, and wheelchair velocity appeared to be associated with recovery phase displacement.

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Rienk M.A. van der Slikke, Annemarie M.H. de Witte, Monique A.M. Berger, Daan J.J. Bregman and Dirk Jan H.E.J. Veeger

impact on propulsion technique than any of the other conditions, possibly requiring additional learning time to optimize grip benefits. Differences between conditions show more explicit in the analysis per test item, compared with the overall WMP outcomes. This implies that although the 6 WMP outcomes

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ZáNean McClain, E. Andrew Pitchford, E. Kipling Webster, Daniel W. Tindall and Seo Hee Lee

in wheelchair-using youths with spina bifida. Participants ( n  = 53) aged 5–18 with spina bifida who used manual wheelchairs were tested to measure skill-related physical fitness skills (i.e., anaerobic performance, agility, propulsion technique, wheelchair features, and physical factors). Paired t

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Joseph Peters, Ian Rice and Tyson Bull

causality cannot be made with a cross-sectional study design. Future studies should utilize a longitudinal design to examine the effects of personal and wheelchair factors on the emergence of skin breakdown. Next, the smooth, synchronized propulsion technique required for the dynamic condition may not be