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Alberto Ranavolo, Romildo Don, Angelo Cacchio, Mariano Serrao, Marco Paoloni, Massimiliano Mangone and Valter Santilli

Kinematic and kinetic methods (sacral marker, reconstructed pelvis, segmental analysis, and force platform methods) have been used to calculate the vertical excursion of the center of mass (COM) during movement. In this study we compared the measurement of vertical COM displacement yielded by different methods during able-bodied subjects’ hopping at different frequencies (varying between 1.2 and 3.2 Hz). ANOVA revealed a significant interaction between hopping frequency and method (p < 0.001), showing that increasing hopping frequency reduced the differences between methods. A post hoc analysis revealed a significant difference between all methods at the lowest hopping frequency and between the force platform and both the sacral marker and reconstructed pelvis methods at the intermediate hopping frequencies, with differences ranging from 16 to 67 millimeters (all p < 0.05). Results are discussed in view of each methods’ limits. We conclude that the segmental analysis and force platform methods can be considered to provide the most accurate results for COM vertical excursion during human hopping in a large range of hopping frequency.

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Ricky Watari, Blayne Hettinga, Sean Osis and Reed Ferber

The purpose of this study was to validate measures of vertical oscillation (VO) and ground contact time (GCT) derived from a commercially-available, torso-mounted accelerometer compared with single marker kinematics and kinetic ground reaction force (GRF) data. Twenty-two semi-elite runners ran on an instrumented treadmill while GRF data (1000 Hz) and three-dimensional kinematics (200 Hz) were collected for 60 s across 5 different running speeds ranging from 2.7 to 3.9 m/s. Measurement agreement was assessed by Bland-Altman plots with 95% limits of agreement and by concordance correlation coefficient (CCC). The accelerometer had excellent CCC agreement (> 0.97) with marker kinematics, but only moderate agreement, and overestimated measures between 16.27 mm to 17.56 mm compared with GRF VO measures. The GCT measures from the accelerometer had very good CCC agreement with GRF data, with less than 6 ms of mean bias at higher speeds. These results indicate a torsomounted accelerometer provides valid and accurate measures of torso-segment VO, but both a marker placed on the torso and the accelerometer yield systematic overestimations of center of mass VO. Measures of GCT from the accelerometer are valid when compared with GRF data, particularly at faster running speeds.

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Mark Holten Mora-Jensen, Pascal Madeleine and Ernst Albin Hansen

whether the increased finger tapping frequency during repeated bout rate enhancement would result in changes in tapping kinematics and kinetics. Regarding the latter, we hypothesized that faster finger tapping would be accompanied by changed vertical displacement of the fingertip and peak tapping force

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Yoshiaki Takei

The purpose of the study was to identify mechanical variables that govern successful performance of the handspring with full turn vault. Subjects were 67 male gymnasts from 25 countries performing the vault during the 1992 Olympic Games. The vaults were filmed by two 16-mm Locam II DC cameras operating at 100 Hz. Approximately 80 frames per subject were digitized for each camera view. Direct linear transformation (DLT) was used to calculate the 3-D coordinates of the digitized body points. The method of Hay and Reid (1988) was used to develop a theoretical model to identify the mechanical variables that determine linear and angular motions of the vault. Significant correlations (p < .005) indicated that the following were important determinants for success: large horizontal velocity, large horizontal kinetic energy term, and overall translational kinetic energy term at takeoff from the board; short duration, small vertical displacement of the center of gravity (CG), and small somersaulting angular distance of preflight; large vertical velocity and large vertical kinetic energy term at takeoff from the horse; and large "amplitude of postflight," that is, large horizontal and vertical displacements of CG and long duration of flight; great height of CG during the second quarter-tum in postflight; and small point deduction for landing.

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Yoshiaki Takei, J. Hubert Dunn, Hiroshi Nohara and Mamoru Kamimura

The subjects were 25 American and 28 Japanese gymnasts filmed during national championships. Performances were analyzed to determine the effect of grip technique at bar regrasp. It was hypothesized that the new outer grip technique would achieve significantly higher body angle and center of gravity (CG) than the inner grip technique at bar regrasp, qualities that are essential for successful performance of the basket to handstand mount on the parallel bars. It was further hypothesized that the new outer grip technique would achieve significantly (a) greater angular speed of arm rotation and vertical displacement of CG during the upward inverted swing and (b) higher body angle and CG at bar release. The results revealed significant differences in all of the areas hypothesized in favor of the new outer grip technique. Although the technique must be refined to control the tendency for excessive body arching at bar release, the new outer grip has the technical advantage for pursuing virtuosity points and new maneuvers.

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Edward J. Quigley and James G. Richards

This study investigated the mechanical effects that cycling has on running style which may explain the discomfort associated with the transition from cycling to running. The joint angles, angular velocities, reaction forces, and reaction moments of the left and right hip, knee, and ankle joints as well as stance time, flight time, stride length, and maximum vertical displacement of the center of gravity were measured using high-speed video and ground reaction force data. Data were collected from 11 competitive biathletes and triathletes. Each subject's running mechanics were determined from 10 trials for each of three conditions: (a) unfatigued, (b) immediately following 30 min of running, and (c) immediately following 30 min of bicycling. The results indicate that a person's running mechanics, as described by the variables above, are virtually unchanged between each of the three conditions. Therefore, awkwardness of the bicycle-to-run transition may not be related to a change in running mechanics.

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Josh L. Secomb, Sophia Nimphius, Oliver R.L. Farley, Lina Lundgren, Tai T. Tran and Jeremy M. Sheppard

Purpose:

To identify whether there are any significant differences in the lower-body muscle structure and countermovement-jump (CMJ) and squat-jump (SJ) performance between stronger and weaker surfing athletes.

Methods:

Twenty elite male surfers had their lower-body muscle structure assessed with ultrasonography and completed a series of lower-body strength and jump tests including isometric midthigh pull (IMTP), CMJ, and SJ. Athletes were separated into stronger (n = 10) and weaker (n = 10) groups based on IMTP performance.

Results:

Large significant differences were identified between the groups for vastus lateralis (VL) thickness (P = .02, ES = 1.22) and lateral gastrocnemius (LG) pennation angle (P = .01, ES = 1.20), and a large nonsignificant difference was identified in LG thickness (P = .08, ES = 0.89). Furthermore, significant differences were present between the groups for peak force, relative peak force, and jump height in the CMJ and SJ (P < .01−.05, ES = 0.90−1.47) and eccentric peak velocity, as well as vertical displacement of the center of mass during the CMJ (P < .01, ES = 1.40−1.41).

Conclusion:

Stronger surfing athletes in this study had greater VL and LG thickness and LG pennation angle. These muscle structures may explain their better performance in the CMJ and SJ. A unique finding in this study was that the stronger group appeared to better use their strength and muscle structure for braking as they had significantly higher eccentric peak velocity and vertical displacement during the CMJ. This enhanced eccentric phase may have resulted in a greater production and subsequent utilization of stored elastic strain energy that led to the significantly better CMJ performance in the stronger group.

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Kelly de Jesus, Karla de Jesus, Pedro A. Figueiredo, Pedro Gonçalves, João Paulo Vilas-Boas and Ricardo J. Fernandes

We aimed to analyze the effects of fatigue on kinematical parameters during submaximal and maximal butterfly. Seven female swimmers performed two randomized 100-m butterfly bouts, at submaximal velocity and at maximal velocity in 25-m pool. During the 1st and 4th laps of each 100 m, kinematic data were recorded by two video cameras (above and below water) on the sagittal plane. Velocity, stroke length, stroke frequency, intracyclic horizontal velocity variation, horizontal and vertical displacements of the hand and foot and stroke phases’ duration were computed for each stroke cycle. Velocity, stroke length, stroke frequency were lower for 4th than 1st lap, at both intensities. Dropped elbow and foot vertical amplitude of 1st and 2nd downbeats were higher for 4th than 1st lap, at both intensities. At submaximal and maximal intensity, swimmers spent more time during push and recovery phases. At submaximal intensity, swimmers experienced fewer difficulties to cope with fatigue between 1st and 4th lap, which allowed the maintenance of intracyclic velocity variation. However, at maximal intensity, swimmers were probably more fatigued and, as a consequence, less mechanically efficient, showing an increase in intracyclic velocity variation.

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Daniel A. Boullosa, José L. Tuimil, Luis M. Alegre, Eliseo Iglesias and Fernando Lusquiños

Purpose:

Countermovement jump (CMJ) and maximum running speed over a distance of 20 m were evaluated for examination of the concurrent fatigue and post-activation potentiation (PAP) in endurance athletes after an incremental feld running test.

Methods:

Twenty-two endurance athletes performed two attempts of CMJ on a force plate and maximum running speed test before and following the Université de Montréal Track Test (UMTT).

Results:

The results showed an improvement in CMJ height (3.6%) after UMTT that correlated with the increment in peak power (3.4%), with a concurrent peak force loss (–10.8%) that correlated with peak power enhancement. The athletes maintained their 20 m sprint performance after exhaustion. Cluster analysis reinforced the association between CMJ and peak power increments in responders with a reported correlation between peak power and sprint performance increments (r = .623; P = .041); nonresponders showed an impairment of peak force, vertical stiffness, and a higher vertical displacement of the center of mass during the countermovement that correlated with lactate concentration (r = –0.717; P = .02).

Conclusions:

It can be suggested that PAP could counteract the peak force loss after exhaustion, allowing the enhancement of CMJ performance and the maintenance of sprint ability in endurance athletes after the UMTT. From these results, the evaluation of CMJ after incremental running tests for the assessment of muscular adaptations in endurance athletes can be recommended.

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Audrey R.C. Elias, Curt D. Hammill and Ryan L. Mizner

Though essential to athletic performance, the ability to land from a jump often remains limited following injury. While recommended, jump training is difficult to include in rehabilitation programs due to high impact forces. Body weight support (BWS) is frequently used in rehabilitation of gait following neurological and orthopedic injury, and may also allow improved rehabilitation of high-impact tasks. There is a differential effect of BWS on walking and running gaits, and the effect of BWS on movements with relatively large vertical displacement is unknown. The current study evaluates the effect of BWS on a replicable singleleg hopping task. We posited that progressive BWS would decrease limb loading while maintaining the joint kinematics of the task. Twenty-eight participants repetitively hopped on and off a box at each of four BWS levels. Peak vertical ground reaction forces decreased by 22.5% between 0% and 30% BWS (P < .001). Average hip, knee, and ankle internal moments decreased by 0.5 N·m/kg each. Slight kinematic changes across BWS levels were clinically insignificant. The high level of task specificity evidenced by consistent kinematics coupled with a similar reduction of internal moment at each joint suggests that BWS may be a useful strategy for rehabilitation of jumping tasks.