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Robert W. Arnhold Jr. and Peter McGrain

The purpose of this study was to determine which set of selected kinematic variables affected the speed of visually impaired residential youth in the sprint run. The subjects were 27 students, 16 males and 11 females, between the ages of 9.4 and 16.4 years. Film data were collected during two trials of the 50-m dash. A Fortran computer program produced nine variables from these digitized data. A multiple regression analysis was performed on the variables using running speed as the dependent variable. Results of a correlation matrix yielded five variables with significant bivariate correlations to running speed. Results of a regression analysis indicated that the cycle length and hip joint range of motion had significant effects on running speed. Implications for an increase in sprinting speed include increasing stride length via the generation of greater hip extension during the drive phase and a greater hip flexion during the recovery phase of sprint running.

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Carol Pope, Claudine Sherrill, Jerry Wilkerson and Jean Pyfer

This paper describes the sprint running of selected Class 6, 7, and 8 international-level athletes with cerebral palsy (CP), contrasts their biomechanical characteristics with those reported for nondisabled runners, and delineates discriminating biomechanical parameters among classes. Subjects included 17 male and female Class 6, 7, and 8 athletes with CP who competed in international competition and were finalists or semifinalists in sprint events. High speed films were taken, and data reduction was performed. It was concluded that (a) elite Class 6, 7, and 8 athletes with CP descriptively differ from findings reported in the nondisabled literature on variables of stride length, velocity, ratio of support to nonsupport time, time of forward swing, trunk angle, hip angle, angle of touchdown, and stride time (females only); (b) athletes with CP differ (right-side values only) between classes for hip range of motion, hip velocity, knee and elbow range of motion, and trunk angle average; and (c) distinguishing biomechanical characteristics exist between the more involved and noninvolved or less involved sides for hip velocity, angle of touchdown, and hip, knee, ankle, and shoulder range of motion.

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Saichon Kloyiam, Sarah Breen, Philip Jakeman, Joe Conway and Yeshayahu Hutzler

The purpose of this study was to describe running economy, soccer specific endurance, and selected kinematic running criteria in soccer players with cerebral palsy (SPCP) and to compare them with values of position-matched players without CP. Fourteen international, male soccer players with cerebral palsy completed the “Yo-Yo” intermittent recovery run level 1 (IRL-1) test to assess soccer-specific endurance and a submaximal running test on a treadmill to determine running economy. The mean IRL-1 distance covered by the SPCP of the Irish CP team was found to be 43–50% below the mean distance attained by position-matched soccer players without disability, while running economy was found to be within the range of that reported for able-bodied athletes. No relationship could be found between the level of CP-ISRA classification and soccer-specific endurance or running economy in this group of elite level SPCP. Though small in number, these data support a further examination of the relationship between CP classification and sport-specific performance.

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Ted Baumgartner and Michael Horvat

The primary purpose of this investigation was to determine the reliability of cardiovascular running tests for individuals with mild and moderate mental retardation. A secondary purpose was to determine whether cardiovascular running tests had some degree of validity in that running times for these tests tended to be in excess of 6 minutes. Data for eight groups were analyzed. Times for the distance runs ranged from 51 to 914 seconds while reliability ranged from .25 to .94, depending on the group. Based on the findings for the groups and distances used in this study, the following conclusions seem justified: (a) Distance run tests of 300 to 880 yds may be reasonably reliable for rank ordering subjects in terms of scores on these tests; (b) distance run tests of 300 or 600 yds are not valid measures of cardiovascular endurance for individuals with mental retardation; and (c) a distance run test of 880 yds may be valid as a measure of cardiovascular endurance.

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Beatrice Gorton and Susan J. Gavron

The purpose of this study was to investigate selected kinematic variables of two classes of blind runners, B-1 and B-3, in the 100-m dash. A total of 26 males served as subjects and were filmed in actual competition at the 1984 International Games for the Disabled. Filming was conducted at 150 frames per second with the camera positioned perpendicular to the plane of motion. Kinematic data extracted from the film included center of gravity, displacements, velocities, and selected joint angles. It was believed that the results of this study would be useful for (a) establishing some descriptive data of blind athletes in B-1 and B-3 classes, (b) understanding individual differences among blind runners of two different classifications, and (c) providing empirical data of the running patterns from which implications for the development of teaching/coaching methods might be gained.

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Bryce Dyer, Siamak Noroozi, Philip Sewell and Sabi Redwood

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of lower-limb running prostheses and stakeholders’ perceptions of fairness in relation to their use in competitive disability sport. A Delphi study was conducted over three rounds to solicit expert opinion in a developing area of knowledge. High levels of consensus were obtained. The findings suggest that the prosthesis is defined as a piece of sporting equipment to restore athletes’ function to enable them to take part in disability sport. In addition, the panel determined that the development of this technology should be considered to be integral to the sport’s ethos. Crucially, prostheses technology should be monitored and have limits placed upon it to ensure fairness for both participants and stakeholders.

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Gisela Kobberling, Louis W. Jankowski and Luc Leger

The oxygen consumption (VO2) of 30 (10 females, 20 males) legally blind adolescents and their sighted controls were compared for treadmill walking (3 mph, 4.8 km/h) and running (6 mph, 9.6 km/h). The VO2 of the visually impaired subjects averaged 24.4% and 10.8% higher than those of their same-sex age-matched controls, and 42.8% and 11.2% higher than the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) norms for walking (p<.01) and running (p<.05), respectively. The normal association between aerobic capacity and locomotor energy costs was evident among the sighted controls (r= .44, p<.05) but insignificant (r=.35, p>.05) for the visually impaired subjects. The energy costs of both walking and running were highest among the totally blind subjects, and decreased toward normal as a function of residual vision among the legally blind subjects. The energy costs of walking and running for blind adolescents are higher than both those of sighted controls and the ACSM norm values.

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Brian Morin and Greg Reid

Previous descriptions of the motor performance of autistic persons have often confounded autism and mental retardation. Therefore, this study compared high functioning autistic individuals to functionally retarded subjects matched closely on chronological age and measured intelligence. Quantitative and qualitative scores for balance, throwing, catching, jumping, and running test items were obtained in a formal testing situation. Also, for autistic subjects, the relationship between qualitative performance on the formal test items and the quality of motor patterns elicited during guided play was determined. It was concluded that the selected test items generally represented reliable indices of the motor performance of autistic persons and that performance during formal testing essentially mirrored that of guided play. While there was some trend toward inferior qualitative scores by autistic individuals compared to their matched counterparts, there were no meaningful quantitative differences between the groups. It is possible that the poor motor performance associated with autism is largely a factor of mental retardation.

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Phillip D. Tomporowski and Larry D. Jameson

Institutionalized severely and profoundly mentally retarded adults participated in two exercise programs. One group of 19 subjects performed a circuit-training regimen consisting of treadmill walking, stationary bicycle riding, rowing, and calisthenics. Exercise sessions lasted 60 minutes and were performed every third day during an 18-week training period. A second group of 19 subjects participated in an 18-week jogging regimen which consisted of running distances of 1/2, 1, or 1 1/2 miles each session. The exercise requirements in both programs were increased progressively during the course of training. Subjects adapted quickly to both exercise regimens and almost all improved their physical endurance and ability to exercise. It is suggested that the highly motivating characteristics of exercise may provide educators with a training medium through which new skills can be taught to severely and profoundly mentally retarded adults.

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Erwin Borremans, Pauli Rintala and Jeffrey A. McCubbin

While physical activity is beneficial for youth with developmental disabilities, little is known about those individuals’ fitness profile and levels of activity. Therefore the purpose of this study was to investigate the physical fitness profile and physical activity level of 30 adolescents with and without Asperger syndrome (AS). Evaluations were done using the Eurofit physical fitness test and the Baecke Habitual Physical Activity questionnaire. A 2 × 2 MANOVA indicated that adolescents with AS scored significantly lower than the comparison group on all physical fitness subtests, including balance, coordination, flexibility, muscular strength, running speed, and cardio-respiratory endurance (p < .001). Adolescents with AS were also less physically active (p < .001). Engagement in physical activities is therefore recommended.