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Open access

Michał Wychowański, Ryszard Biernat and Agnieszka Witke


Introduction.Efficient locomotion in a wheelchair is of great importance for the life quality of people with diseases that make them unable to walk, and also in many sport disciplines for the handicapped. The aim of this study was to compare the grip strength with the force of propulsion of a constrained wheelchair for different positioning of the hand on the wheel, and to observe the influence of grip strength and static propulsion force of the wheelchair on the results of a test ride on a given box-shaped path. Materials and methods. 84 healthy subjects took part in the test (52 female and 32 male), each being a Physiotherapy student of the Joseph Rusiecki Academy in Olsztyn. The grip strength measurement was conducted using a tensometric dynamometer in a sitting position. The propelling force was measured in static conditions with a dynamometer in three different hand positions on the push rim. The ability to move efficiently on a wheelchair was assessed on a “box” shaped track with measured completion times. Results. It was observed that women have lower grip strength of both hands than men and that their middle phalanx is shorter. In both groups a significant correlation was observed between grip strength and anthropometric parameters: body height, body weight, length of middle phalanx and between grip strength of the left and right hands. It has been found that grip strength is significantly correlated with the propulsion force of the wheelchair in almost all positions of the hand on the wheel. There was no significant correlation between the force generated with the left hand on the middle of the rim and the grip strength measured with a dynamometer. Men also achieved better results during the “box” test. A significant positive correlation was observed between body mass of both male and female subjects and the time of completing the “box” test. No correlation was found between the time of completing the “box” test and the propulsion force measured in constrains. Conclusions. Men achieve higher values of propulsion force than women in all cases of hand positioning on the wheel. Both men and women achieve highest values of propulsion force when positioning the hands in front of the rim. In all measured positions the average propulsion force was higher for men. In the case of healthy people who are not accustomed to using a wheelchair, the time of completing the “box” test depended mostly on their technical abilities and not their physical strength.

Open access

Aneta Popieluch, Michał Staniszewski and Michał Wychowański


Introduction. The main aim of the study was to assess the strength of the shoulder rotator muscles of a group of second-league volleyball players. These muscles are assumed to have a crucial impact on attack effectiveness in volleyball. Strength was assessed based on peak torque values obtained for the rotator muscles measured using the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) method. Torque was measured in both limbs and the differences between the two limbs were examined. The torque values obtained for the volleyball players were also compared against those measured in a group of students who had never trained any sports.

Material and methods. The study involved 20 students (mean age = 20 ± 1 years) who played in the second league when the study was conducted. Their results were compared with those of a control group consisting of 30 students (mean age = 20 ± 1 years) who had not trained any sports. Peak torque of the shoulder rotator muscles was measured during external and internal rotation of the shoulder in isometric conditions. The assessment was performed on a special measuring station with the forearm in a vertical and horizontal position. The following basic statistics were calculated for the torque values obtained in the measurement: the mean, standard deviation, minimum value, and maximum value. The data were then subjected to statistical testing.

Results. Compared to the students, the volleyball players had higher torque values of the internal and external rotators of the right and left shoulders, in both positions of the forearm. When the results obtained for the right and left limbs were compared for the group of volleyball players, it was found that the torque values for the right limb, which was the dominant limb, were significantly higher than those recorded for the left limb. The study also showed that the position of the forearm had an impact on torque values: when the forearm was in a horizontal position, higher mean values were obtained for the external rotators of the right (p < 0.05) and left (p < 0.01) limbs, and when it was in a vertical one, the internal rotators were stronger compared to the external rotators.

Conclusions. The shoulder rotator muscles of the volleyball players were found to be considerably stronger than those of the students, and the rotators of the dominant limb were significantly stronger than those of the non-dominant limb in the group of volleyball players. The position of the forearm had a considerable impact on the strength of the internal and external rotator muscles. The maximal voluntary contraction method used in the study can be helpful in measuring the strength of the shoulder rotator muscles in any phase of the training process.

Open access

Lidia Ilnicka, Zbigniew Trzaskoma, Ida Wiszomirska, Andrzej Wit and Michał Wychowański


Study aim: The aim of the study was to determine connections between the functional asymmetry of limbs and the morphological asymmetry of feet.

Material and methods: The study population consisted of 56 students: 30 females (mean age 20.29 ± 0.59 years) and 26 males (mean age 20.41 ± 0.78 years). The measurements of body build were taken with classical instruments. Body build was assessed on the basis of body height, body mass, and BMI. Seven features of the foot and 8 indices of foot arches were assessed. Assessment of laterality in upper and lower limbs was conducted on the basis of data from repeated interviews, and then verified with simple motor tests that imitated characteristic functions of the limbs. Asymmetry indices were calculated in order to determine asymmetries of the features. Mollison’s index was applied to assess dimorphic differences.

Results: Features that were statistically different in the foot of the dominant limb and in the foot of the non-dominant limb were: among the group of females, the foot length without hindfoot, and the Clarke’s angle; among the group of males - the foot length without toes. Analyses of results of this study do not allow for a claim that laterality of lower extremities has a considerable impact on indices of longitudinal and transverse foot arches.

Conclusions: The following conclusions were formulated on the basis of the conducted analysis regarding the group of subjects with homogeneous right laterality:

- in females, the dominant limb’s foot is characterized by a shorter bone arm lever for dorsiflexors;

- in males, the dominant limb’s foot is characterized by a shorter bone arm lever for plantaflexors.