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  • Author: Petr Stastny x
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The Gluteus Medius Vs. Thigh Muscles Strength Ratio and Their Relation to Electromyography Amplitude During a Farmer’s Walk Exercise

Abstract

The strength ratio between hamstrings and quadriceps (H/Q) is associated with knee injuries as well as hip abductor muscle (HAB) weakness. Sixteen resistance trained men (age, 32.5 ± 4.2 years) performed 5 s maximal isometric contractions at 75° of knee flexion/extension and 15° of hip abduction on a dynamometer. After this isometric test they performed a Farmer´s walk exercise to find out if the muscle strength ratio predicted the electromyography amplitude expressed as a percentage of maximum voluntary isometric contraction (%MVIC). The carried load represented a moderate intensity of 75% of the exercise six repetitions maximum (6RM). Electromyography data from the vastus medialis (VM), vastus lateralis (VL), biceps femoris (BF) and gluteus medius (Gmed) on each leg were collected during the procedure. The groups selected were participants with H/Q ≥ 0.5, HQ < 0.5, HAB/H ≥ 1, HAB/H < 1, HAB/Q ≥ 0.5 and HAB/Q < 0.5. One way ANOVA showed that Gmed activity was significantly greater in the group with HAB/H < 1 (42 ± 14 %MVIC) as compared to HAB/H ≥ 1 (26 ± 10 %MVIC) and HAB/Q < 0.5 (47 ± 19 %MVIC) compared to HAB/Q ≥ 0.5 (26 ± 12 %MVIC). The individuals with HAB/H < 1 were found to have greater activation of their Gmed during the Farmer’s walk exercise. Individuals with HAB/Q < 0.5 had greater activation of the Gmed. Gmed strength ratios predict the muscle involvement when a moderate amount of the external load is used. The Farmer’s walk is recommended as an exercise which can strengthen the gluteus medius, especially for individuals with a HAB/H ratio < 1 and HAB/Q < 0.5.

Open access
Muscle Strength Variations of Knee Joint Muscles in Elite Female Handball Players after Pre-Season Conditioning

Abstract

Monitoring seasonal variations in strength performance and the relative risk of injury indicators related to strength of hamstring (H) and quadriceps (Q) in female elite athletes is beneficial for the training process. The aim of this study was to examine and compare the level of muscle strength, the conventional ratio (HCONC/QCONC) as well as two functional and strength ratios reflecting the movement of knee extension (HECC/QCONC) and flexion (HCONC/QECC), and the bilateral percentage strength deficit (BSD) in elite female handball players. The concentric and eccentric isokinetic peak torque was measured at an angular velocity of 60°/s on three occasions (in-season cessation, 4 weeks of rest followed by 4 weeks of individual conditioning and 6 weeks of group conditioning) in eleven female handball players (age: 23.1 ± 3.5 years, body height: 1.73 ± 0.6 m). According to ANOVA results, the BSD of H muscles in the concentric mode decreased between the in-season cessation and the end of the pre-season, and HCONC/QCONC increased at the beginning of the pre-season and at the end of the pre-season in comparison with inseason cessation measurement. The effect size analyses showed that the off-season rest followed by 10 weeks of the conditioning programme increased Q and H strength in comparison with the previous season with a large effect. Coaches should include progressive conditioning in the pre-season phase to decrease the bilateral strength deficit and to support further conditioning development.

Open access
Isokinetic Strength of Rotators, Flexors and Hip Extensors is Strongly Related to Front Kick Dynamics in Military Professionals

Abstract

Achieving the maximum possible impact force of the front kick can be related to the isokinetic lower limb muscle strength. Therefore, we aimed to determine the regression model between kicking performance and the isokinetic peak net moment of hip rotators, flexors, and hip extensors and flexors at various speeds of contraction. Twenty-five male soldiers (27.7 ± 7.2 yrs, 83.8 ± 6.1 kg, 180.5 ± 6.5 cm) performed six barefoot front kicks, where impact forces (N) and kick velocity (m∙s-1) were measured. The 3D kinematics and isokinetic dynamometry were used to estimate the kick velocity, isokinetic moment of kicking lower limb hip flexors and extensors (60, 120, 240, 300°∙s-1), and stance lower limb hip internal and external rotators (30, 90°∙s-1). Multiple regression showed that a separate component of the peak moment concentric hip flexion and extension of the kicking lower limb at 90°∙s-1 can explain 54% of the peak kicking impact force variance (R2 = 0.54; p < 0.001). When adding the other 3 components of eccentric and concentric hip internal and external rotations at 30°∙s-1, the internal and external hip rotation ratios at 30°∙s-1 on the stance limb and the concentric ratio of kicking limb flexion and extension at 300°∙s-1 that explained the variance of impact force were 75% (p = 0.003). The explosive strength of kicking limb hip flexors and extensors is the main condition constraint for kicking performance. The maximum strength of stance limb internal and external rotators and speed strength of kicking limb hip flexors and extensors are important constraints of kicking performance that should be considered to improve the front kick efficiency.

Open access
Kinetic and Kinematic Differences in a Golf Swing in One and Both Lower Limb Amputees

Abstract

Amputee golfers need to cope with the absence of sole proprioception, a decreased range of swing motion and other factors which should be recognized for training purposes. The aim of this study was to determine the kinetic and kinematic differences in the golf swing in one leg and two legs amputees. The participants consisted of two males and one female at a professional or amateur level with a different degree of disability. Each participant was taped by 3D markers and performed five golf swings with the iron 6. The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) did not vary between individuals in kinematics, however, it was low in kinetic variables of two leg amputees. The Kendal rank correlation showed a significant relationship between the level of amputation and a large number of kinetic and kinematic variables such as X factor, O factor, S factor and individual body angles. The fluency and similarity of the golf swing did not depend on the level of amputation. One lower limb amputation did not seem to increase movement variability contrary to two lower limb amputation. The most variable parameter was a weight-shift in all golfers. The takeaway and horizontal force angle depended on the level of amputation rather than individual technique, thus, their modification by training may be difficult. Estimation of golf swing „mistakes“ in amputees in respect to the leading arm in an early follow or late follow position appeared to be useless.

Open access
A systematic review of the main factors that determine agility in sport using structural equation modeling

Abstract

While tests of basic motor abilities such as speed, maximum strength or endurance are well recognized, testing of complex motor functions such as agility remains unresolved in current literature. Therefore, the aim of this review was to evaluate which main factor or factor structures quantitatively determine agility. In methodological detail, this review focused on research that explained or described the relationships between latent variables in a factorial model of agility using approaches such as principal component analysis, factor analysis and structural equation modeling. Four research studies met the defined inclusion criteria. No quantitative empirical research was found that tried to verify the quality of the whole suggested model of the main factors determining agility through the use of a structural equation modeling (SEM) approach or a confirmatory factor analysis. From the whole structure of agility, only change of direction speed (CODS) and some of its subtests were appropriately analyzed. The combination of common CODS tests is reliable and useful to estimate performance in sub-elite athletes; however, for elite athletes, CODS tests must be specific to the needs of a particular sport discipline. Sprinting and jumping tests are stronger factors for CODS than explosive strength and maximum strength tests. The authors suggest the need to verify the agility factorial model by a second generation data analysis technique such as SEM.

Open access
Performance and Kinematic Differences in Putting Between Healthy and Disabled Elite Golfers

Abstract

Golfers with disability are limited in the execution of the full golf swing, but their performance in putting may be comparable because this stroke does not demand significant strength, balance and range of motion. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare putting performance, kinetic and kinematic consistency between golfers with different disabilities and healthy athletes. The participants consisted of three disabled athletes (perinatal cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, below knee lower limb amputee) and three healthy golfers (age 34 ± 4.5 years, body height 178 ± 3.3 cm, body mass 83 ± 6.2 kg). The golfers’ movements were recorded by active 3D markers for kinematic analyses; the subjects performed 10 trials of a 6 m putting task while standing on separate force platforms placed under each lower limb. Putting performance was measured by the distance of the final ball position to the centre of the hole. ANOVA analyses did not show any differences in clubhead speed and total ball distance from the hole. The consistency of those two parameters expressed by the coefficient of variation (CV) was CV = 0.5% or better in both groups for clubhead speed and ranged from CV = 0.40 to 0.61% in healthy and CV = 0.21 to 0.55% in disabled athletes for total error distance. The main effect ANOVA showed differences in weight shift, hip and shoulder kinematics (p < 0.05) between healthy players and all players with disability. All disabled athletes shifted their weight toward the healthy side (towards the healthy lower limb) and alternated the end of the swing. The player with below knee amputation had the lowest range of motion in the shoulder joint during the putting stroke. The players with perinatal cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis had the largest range of motion in the hips. Putting performance of disabled golfers was similar to healthy athletes. During training of disabled players, coaches should pay attention to the specificity of a particular disability when focused on putting performance. However, individual technique should achieve the same consistency as observed in healthy players.

Open access
Optimizing post activation potentiation for explosive activities in competitive sports

Abstract

Post activation potentiation (PAP) has shown improved performance during movements requiring large muscular power output following contractions under near maximal load conditions. PAP can be described as an acute enhancement of performance or an enhancement of factors determining an explosive sports activity following a preload stimulus. In practice, PAP has been achieved by complex training, which involves a combination of a heavy loaded exercise followed by a biomechanically similar explosive activity, best if specific for a particular sport discipline. The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of PAP on performance in explosive motor activities specific for basketball, luge and athletics throws. The novel approach to the experiments included individualized recovery time (IRT) between the conditioning exercise and the explosive activity. Additionally, the research groups were homogenous and included only competitive athletes of similar age and training experience. Thirty one well trained athletes from 3 different sport disciplines participated in the study. All athletes performed a heavy loaded conditioning activity (80-130%1RM) followed by a biomechanically similar explosive exercise, during which power (W) or the rate of power development (W/s/kg) was evaluated. The results of our experiment confirmed the effectiveness of PAP with well-trained athlets during explosive motor activities such as jumping, throwing and pushing. Additionally, our research showed that eccentric supramaximal intensities (130% 1RM) can be effective in eliciting PAP in strength trained athletes. Our experiments also showed that the IRT should be individualized because athletes differ in the strength level, training experience and muscle fiber structure. In the three experiments conducted with basketball players, track and field athletes and luge athletes, the optimal IRT equaled 6 min. This justifies the need to individualize the volume and intensity of the CA, and especially the IRT, between the CA and the explosive activity.

Open access
Changes in Injury Risk Mechanisms After Soccer-Specific Fatigue in Male Youth Soccer Players

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the acute effects of soccer specific fatigue on muscular and neuromuscular function in male youth soccer players. Elite soccer players (n = 20; age 15.7 ± 0.5 y; body height 177.75 ± 6.61 cm; body mass 67.28 ± 8.29 kg) were measured before and after soccer specific exercise (SAFT90). The reactive strength index (RSI) was determined by a drop jump test, leg stiffness (LS) by a 20 sub-maximal two-legged hopping test, and a functional hamstring to quadriceps strength ratio from isokinetic concentric and eccentric strength of the dominant and non-dominant leg (measured at angular velocities of 1.05 rad · s−1 and 3.14 rad · s−1). Metabolic response to the SAFT90 was determined by blood lactate and perceived exertion was assessed by the Borg scale. After simulated match play, a significant decrease in absolute LS (t = 4.411; p < 0.001; ω2 = 0.48) and relative LS (t = 4.326; p < 0.001; ω2 = 0.49) was observed and the RSI increased significantly (t = 3.806; p = 0.001; ω2 = 0.40). A reduction in LS found after the SAFT90 indicates possible reduction in dynamic knee stabilization. However, if we consider the changes in other observed variables, the present study did not clearly confirm that fatigue induced by a soccer specific protocol increased the risk of ACL and hamstring injury. This may be attributed to the simulated rather than actual match play used in the present study.

Open access
Effects of Krankcycle Training on Performance and Body Composition in Wheelchair Users

Abstract

Innovation in training equipment is important for increasing training effectiveness, performance and changes in body composition, especially in wheelchair users with paraplegia. The main objective of a workout session is to induce an adaptation stimulus, which requires overload of involved muscles by voluntary effort, yet this overload may be highly influenced by the size of the spinal cord lesion. Krancykl construction is designed to allow exercise on any wheelchair and with adjustable height or width of crank handles, where even the grip handle may be altered. The aim of this study was to determine the differences in body composition, performance and the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) in paraplegics with a different level of paralyses after a 12 week training programme of a unilateral regime on Krankcycle equipment (a crank machine). The study sample included four men and one women at a different spine lesion level. The 12 weeks programme was successfully completed by four participants, while one subject got injured during the intervention process. Three participants were paraplegics and one was quadriplegic with innervation of the biceps humeri, triceps humeri and deltoideus. The Krankcycle 30 min programme was followed by four other exercises, which were performed after themselves rather than in a circuit training manner as the latter would result in much longer rest periods between exercises, because paraplegics have to be fixed by straps during exercise on hydraulic machines. The RPE after the workout decreased following the twelve week adaptation period.

Open access
Can Anthropometric Variables and Maturation Predict the Playing Position in Youth Basketball Players?

Abstract

Anthropometric diagnoses predict the most appropriate on‐court position for a certain player and are important in the long‐term planning of basketball training programs. This study provides anthropometric characteristics and body composition profiles of Polish youth national team players (U‐14, U‐15, U‐16 and U‐18). The aim of this research was to determine the somatic characteristics of basketball players regarding particular on‐court positions. The sample population consisted of 109 elite basketball players, who played in national teams in four age categories: U‐14, U‐16, U‐18 U‐20. An analysis of the obtained results revealed differences between the younger (U‐14, U‐15 and U‐16) and older groups (U‐18 and U‐20) in terms of length, width and circumference measurements and body mass (3.6–9.3%), as well as subcutaneous fat measured by the skinfold thickness method (14.3–33.7%). ANCOVA with maturity offset as the covariate variable showed differences in body height (p < 0.05, R2 = 0.74) and the arm span (p < 0.05, R2 = 0.87) between each playing position; the somatic measurements were greater for centers than for forwards and guards, and the measurements were greater for forwards than for guards. The somatic feature measurements also increased linearly with age. We can conclude that the arm span and body height are two major somatic factors that can predict center and guard playing positions for national team basketball players in all age categories from U‐14 to U‐20.

Open access