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Spiros G. Prassas

A biomechanical model of the press handstand was developed to evaluate and predict the shoulder joint torque requirements as well as the motion of a gymnast’s center of mass (CM) from an initial to a final (handstand) position. Five press handstands executed by gymnasts of differing abilities were filmed and analyzed. The results were compared to the predicted parameters of simulated presses. It was found that execution of the skill with fewer fluctuations in trunk and lower extremities angular velocity—a characteristic of skilled performance—required smoother and at times larger shoulder joint torques. Reduction of the hip joint angle by only 5 or 10° did not substantially reduce the shoulder joint torque requirements. Regarding CM motion, it was found that during performance the CM continuously elevated and remained close to a vertical line passing through the center of the wrist joint. All gymnasts, however, were found to be leaning slightly backward during the first part of the movement and slightly forward during the later phases. Modifications in wrist joint angle required to maintain each gymnast’s CM precisely above the center of the wrist joint were investigated.

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Brock Laschowski, Naser Mehrabi, and John McPhee

skeletal muscles (ie, dynamometry) is invasive and therefore unpractical in sport environments. 3 With modern advancements in computer science, biomechanical modeling presents a viable method of approximating the dynamics of multibody movements. 3 Considering the emergent interests in determining the

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Amit Gefen

The extrapolation of biological damage from a biomechanical model requires that a closed-form mathematical damage threshold function (DTF) be included in the model. A DTF typically includes a generic load variable, being the critical load (e.g., pressure, strain, temperature) causing irreversible tissue or cell damage, and a generic time variable, which represents the exposure to the load (e.g., duration, strain rate). Despite the central role that DTFs play in biomechanical studies, there is no coherent literature on how to formulate a DTF, excluding the field of heat-induced damage studies. This technical note describes six mathematical function types (Richards, Boltzmann, Morgan-Mercer-Flodin, Gompertz, Weibull, Bertalanffy) that are suitable for formulating a wide range of DTFs. These functions were adapted from the theory of restricted growth, and were fitted herein to describe biomechanical damage phenomena. Relevant properties of each adapted function type were extracted to allow efficient fitting of its parameters to empirical biomechanical data, and some practical examples are provided.

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Michael W.R. Holmes and Peter J. Keir

Understanding joint stiffness and stability is beneficial for assessing injury risk. The purpose of this study was to examine joint rotational stiffness for individual muscles contributing to elbow joint stability. Fifteen male participants maintained combinations of three body orientations (standing, supine, sitting) and three hand preloads (no load, solid tube, fluid filled tube) while a device imposed a sudden elbow extension. Elbow angle and activity from nine muscles were inputs to a biomechanical model to determine relative contributions to elbow joint rotational stiffness, reported as percent of total stiffness. A body orientation by preload interaction was evident for most muscles (P < .001). Brachioradialis had the largest change in contribution while standing (no load, 18.5%; solid, 23.8%; fluid, 26.3%). Across trials, the greatest contributions were brachialis (30.4 ± 1.9%) and brachioradialis (21.7 ± 2.2%). Contributions from the forearm muscles and triceps were 5.5 ± 0.6% and 9.2 ± 1.9%, respectively. Contributions increased at time points closer to the perturbation (baseline to anticipatory), indicating increased neuromuscular response to resist rotation. This study quantified muscle contributions that resist elbow perturbations, found that forearm muscles contribute marginally and showed that orientation and preload should be considered when evaluating elbow joint stiffness and safety.

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Edited by Thomas S. Buchanan

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Danielle L. Gyemi, Charles Kahelin, Nicole C. George, and David M. Andrews

Biomechanical modeling of dynamic impact events is important for advancing the understanding of how tissues in the body contribute to impact shock attenuation in-vivo. However, many biomechanical models only take into account rigid tissue (ie, bone), without considering the influence of soft

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Jon Karlsson, Lars Peterson, Gunnar Andreasson, and Christian Högfors

A device to simulate ankle motion associated with inversion ankle injury was constructed. This device consists of a trap door that can be tilted 30° from the horizontal plane. Surface EMG electrodes were placed over the peroneus brevis and peroneus longus muscles. The time measured from the tilting of the plate to the first muscular response on the EMG was defined as the reflex time. Twenty individuals with unilateral ankle joint instability were tested. The mechanical ankle joint stability was measured using standardized radiographic measurements, taking into account anterior talar translation and talar tilt. The mean anterior talar translation was 5.9 mm and the mean talar tilt was 3.2° in the stable ankles, compared to 12.7 mm and 10.5° for the unstable ankles. The mean reflex time was 68.8 ms (peroneus longus) and 69.2 ms (peroneus brevis) in the stable ankles as compared to 84.5 ms (peroneus longus) and 81.6 ms (peroneus brevis) in the unstable ankles. Important factors influencing functional instability are discussed.

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Amy R. Lewis, William S.P. Robertson, Elissa J. Phillips, Paul N. Grimshaw, and Marc Portus

For the wheelchair racing population, it is uncertain whether musculoskeletal models using the maximum isometric force-generating capacity of nonathletic, able-bodied individuals are appropriate, as few anthropometric parameters for wheelchair athletes are reported in the literature. In this study, a sensitivity analysis was performed in OpenSim, whereby the maximum isometric force-generating capacity of muscles was adjusted in 25% increments to literature-defined values between scaling factors of 0.25x and 4.0x for 2 elite athletes, at 3 speeds representative of race conditions. Convergence of the solution was used to assess the results. Artificially weakening a model presented unrealistic values, while artificially strengthening a model excessively (4.0x) demonstrated physiologically invalid muscle force values. The ideal scaling factors were 1.5x and 1.75x for each of the athletes, respectively, as was assessed through convergence of the solution. This was similar to the relative difference in limb masses between dual-energy X-Ray absorptiometry data and anthropometric data in the literature (1.49x and 1.70x), suggesting that dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry may be used to estimate the required scaling factors. The reliability of simulations for elite wheelchair racing athletes can be improved by appropriately increasing the maximum isometric force-generating capacity of muscles.

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Karen Roemer, Tibor Hortobagyi, Chris Richter, Yolanda Munoz-Maldonado, and Stephanie Hamilton

Although an authoritative panel recommended the use of ergometer rowing as a non-weight-bearing form of exercise for obese adults, the biomechanical characterization of ergometer rowing is strikingly absent. We examined the interaction between body mass index (BMI) relative to the lower extremity biomechanics during rowing in 10 normal weight (BMI 18–25), 10 overweight (BMI 25–30 kg·m−2), and 10 obese (BMI > 30 kg·m−2) participants. The results showed that BMI affects joint kinematics and primarily knee joint kinetics. The data revealed that high BMI leads to unfavorable knee joint torques, implying increased loads of the medial compartment in the knee joint that could be avoided by allowing more variable foot positioning on future designs of rowing ergometers.

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Shawn Russell, Bradford Bennett, Pradip Sheth, and Mark Abel

This paper describes a method to characterize gait pathologies like cerebral palsy using work, energy, and angular momentum. For a group of 24 children, 16 with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and 8 typically developed, kinematic data were collected at the subjects self selected comfortable walking speed. From the kinematics, the work—internal, external, and whole body; energy—rotational and relative linear; and the angular momentum were calculated. Our findings suggest that internal work represents 53% and 40% respectively of the whole body work in gait for typically developed children and children with cerebral palsy. Analysis of the angular momentum of the whole body, and other subgroupings of body segments, revealed a relationship between increased angular momentum and increased internal work. This relationship allows one to use angular momentum to assist in determining the kinetics and kinematics of gait which contribute to increased internal work. Thus offering insight to interventions which can be applied to increase the efficiency of bipedal locomotion, by reducing internal work which has no direct contribution to center of mass motion, in both normal and pathologic populations.