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James M. Wakeling, Meghan Jackman and Ana I. Namburete

The velocity at which a muscle fascicle will shorten, and hence the force that it can develop, depends on its gearing within the muscle belly. Muscle fascicle length depends on both its pennation and the thickness of the muscle. It was expected that external compression would reduce the muscle thickness and pennation and thus cause a reduction to the gearing of the fascicles relative to the muscle belly. Structural properties of the medial gastrocnemius muscle were visualized using B-mode ultrasound in six subjects. Measurements were taken during cyclical isotonic contractions at three different ankle torques and with the application of no, one, or two elastic compression bandages to the lower leg. Ankle torques and angular velocities were unaffected by the external compression. External compression did, however, reduce the muscle thickness and the fascicle pennation and resulted in a decrease in the gearing within the muscle belly. Reductions in gearing would result in an increase in the muscle fascicle shortening velocity that would reduce the force-generating potential of the fascicles. It is suggested that externally applied compression should not be considered a way to enhance muscle performance when based on the structural mechanics.

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Cordial M. Gillette and Mark A. Merrick

Ice (I), compression (C), and elevation (E), or ICE, and its many derivatives, including RICE, PRICE, RICES, ICES, and POLICE (R = rest, P = protection, S = stability, and OL = optimal loading), are widely used treatments for acute musculoskeletal injuries. 1 – 5 The component of ICE that has the

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Kelly A. Brock, Lindsey E. Eberman, Richard H. Laird IV, David J. Elmer and Kenneth E. Games

recover from muscle damage. Several treatments have been proposed for EIMD and DOMS and have been investigated for their efficacy in alleviating soreness and improving performance as measured by reduced recovery times. Such treatments include massage, 2 , 4 – 7 compression garments, 1 , 4 , 5 , 8 – 10

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Ryan G. Overmayer and Matthew W. Driller

advantageous. Compression garments, or static compression, are thought to improve exercise recovery by enhancing venous return, and thereby assist in the removal of metabolic waste accumulated as a result of exercise. 2 More recently, athletes have incorporated the use of intermittent sequential pneumatic

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Amanda L. Zaleski, Linda S. Pescatello, Kevin D. Ballard, Gregory A. Panza, William Adams, Yuri Hosokawa, Paul D. Thompson and Beth A. Taylor

The benefits of regular sustained aerobic exercise are indisputable; however, extreme endurance events, such as a marathon foot race (42.2 km), can be associated with marked muscle damage, inflammation, and injury. 1 – 3 Compression socks have become increasingly popular to wear during and

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James R. Broatch, David J. Bishop and Shona Halson

metabolism progressively increases with sprint duration and the number of sprints. 11 , 12 As such, components of aerobic metabolism like blood flow and oxygen uptake/delivery may be important determinants of repeated-sprint ability. Lower limb compression garments have previously been suggested to provide

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Leanne Sawle, Jennifer Freeman and Jonathan Marsden

pelvic compression, 7 are a tool that have demonstrated some success in reducing pain and improving function on clinical tests such as the squeeze test and active straight leg raise (ASLR). 8 , 9 However, the practicality of using belts during performance is limited, and research has begun to consider

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C. Martyn Beaven, Christian Cook, David Gray, Paul Downes, Ian Murphy, Scott Drawer, John R. Ingram, Liam P. Kilduff and Nicholas Gill

Rugby preseason training involves high-volume strength and conditioning training, necessitating effective management of the recovery-stress state to avoid overtraining and maximize adaptive gains.

Purpose:

Compression garments and an electrostimulation device have been proposed to improve recovery by increasing venous blood flow. These devices were assessed using salivary testosterone and cortisol, plasma creatine kinase, and player questionnaires to determine sleep quality, energy level, mood, and enthusiasm.

Methods:

Twenty-five professional rugby players were assigned to 1 of 2 treatments (compression garment or a concurrent combination of electrostimulation and compression) in a crossover design over 2 × 2-wk training blocks.

Results:

Substantial benefits were observed in self-assessed energy levels (effect size [ES] 0.86), and enthusiasm (ES 0.80) as a result of the combined treatment when compared with compression-garment use. The combination treatment had no discernable effect on salivary hormones, with no treatment effect observed. The electrostimulation device did tend to accelerate the return of creatine kinase to baseline levels after 2 preseason rugby games when compared with the compression-garment intervention (ES 0.61; P = .08).

Conclusions:

Electrostimulation elicited psychometric and physiological benefits reflective of an improved recovery-stress state in professional male rugby players when combined with a lower-body compression garment.

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Guillaume Mornieux, Elmar Weltin, Monika Pauls, Franz Rott and Albert Gollhofer

male athletes. 10 , 11 In sport sciences, the influence of compression garments, providing passive support to different body segments during exercise, has been extensively studied. 12 It has been showed that compressive and elastic garments could reduce the range of motion of the joint. 13 , 14

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Joseph J. Crisco, Elizabeth I. Drewniak, Martin P. Alvarez and David B. Spenciner

Although the sport of lacrosse has evolved dramatically over the last few decades and is presently the fastest growing team sport in the United States, the current specifications for balls date back to 1943. The purpose of this study was to see if various commercially available field lacrosse balls meet these specifications and to determine additional mechanical properties of the ball that may more completely characterize ball performance. Eight models from several manufacturers were tested. Seven models were designated for game play, while one model was promoted as a practice ball. In accordance with the specifications, the mass, circumference, and rebound height were recorded for one dozen balls from each model. The load required to compress the balls 0.0125 m and the coefficient of restitution (COR) with an incident speed of 26.80 m/s were also determined. We found that some balls met several of the specifications, but none of the models had every ball meet all the specif cations. For the two measures of ball liveliness, rebound height had a weak correlation with COR. Ball compression loads averaged about 750 N over most models, but were almost 85% less for the practice model. It appears that current governing body specifications are outdated, as no ball model we tested met these specifications. The determination of ball liveliness at more realistic speeds should also be taken into account. Since balls with low compression loads can pass through face protectors worn by lacrosse players, the sport's governing bodies may wish to consider a specification on ball compression.