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Open access

Jonathan Sinclair, Stephen Atkins and Hayley Vincent

Abstract

Purpose. There has yet to be a combined analysis of three-dimensional multi-segment foot kinematics and plantar fascia strain in running gait at various degrees of inclination. The aim of the current study was therefore to investigate the above during treadmill running at different inclines (0°, 5°, 10° and 15°). Methods. Twelve male participants ran at 4.0 m · s-1 in the four different inclinations. Three-dimensional kinematics of the foot segments and plantar fascia strain were quantified for each incline and contrasted using one-way repeated measures ANOVA. Results and conclusions. The results showed that plantar fascia strain increased significantly as a function of running incline. Given the projected association between plantar fascia strain and the aetiology of injury, inclined running may be associated with a greater incidence of injury to the plantar fascia.

Open access

Jonathan Sinclair, Stephen Atkins and Hayley Vincent

Abstract

Identification of the hip joint centre (HJC) is important in the biomechanical examination of human movement. However, there is yet to be any published information regarding the influence of different HJC locations on hip and knee joint kinetics during functional tasks. This study aimed to examine the influence of four different HJC techniques on 3- D hip and knee joint kinetics/kinematics during the squat. Hip and knee joint kinetics/kinematics of the squat were obtained from fifteen male participants using an eight camera motion capture system. The 3-D kinetics/kinematics of the squat were quantified using four hip joint centre estimation techniques. Repeated measures ANOVAs were used to compare the discrete parameters as a function of each HJC location. The results show that significant differences in joint angles and moment parameters were evident at both the hip and knee joint in the coronal and transverse planes. These observations indicate that when calculating non-sagittal joint kinetics/kinematics during the squat, researchers should carefully consider their HJC method as it may significantly affect the interpretation of their data.

Open access

Jonathan Sinclair, Stephen Atkins, Jim Richards and Hayley Vincent

Abstract

Research interest in barefoot running has expanded considerably in recent years, based around the notion that running without shoes is associated with a reduced incidence of chronic injuries. The aim of the current investigation was to examine the differences in the forces produced by different skeletal muscles during barefoot and shod running. Fifteen male participants ran at 4.0 m·s-1 (± 5%). Kinematics were measured using an eight camera motion analysis system alongside ground reaction force parameters. Differences in sagittal plane kinematics and muscle forces between footwear conditions were examined using repeated measures or Freidman’s ANOVA. The kinematic analysis showed that the shod condition was associated with significantly more hip flexion, whilst barefoot running was linked with significantly more flexion at the knee and plantarflexion at the ankle. The examination of muscle kinetics indicated that peak forces from Rectus femoris, Vastus medialis, Vastus lateralis, Tibialis anterior were significantly larger in the shod condition whereas Gastrocnemius forces were significantly larger during barefoot running. These observations provide further insight into the mechanical alterations that runners make when running without shoes. Such findings may also deliver important information to runners regarding their susceptibility to chronic injuries in different footwear conditions.

Open access

Jonathan Sinclair, Hannah Frances Shore, Paul J. Taylor and Stephen Atkins

Abstract

Purpose. Female runners are known to be at greater risk from chronic running injuries than age-matched males, although the exact mechanisms are often poorly understood. The aim of the current investigation was to determine if female recreational runners exhibit distinct limb and joint stiffness characteristics in relation to their male counterparts. Methods. Fourteen male and fourteen female runners ran over a force platform at 4.0 m · s-1. Lower limb kinematics were collected using an eight-camera optoelectric motion capture system operating at 250 Hz. Measures of limb and joint stiffness were calculated as a function of limb length and joint moments divided by the extent of limb and joint excursion. All stiffness and joint moment parameters were normalized to body mass. Sex differences in normalized limb and knee and ankle joint stiffness were examined statistically using independent samples t tests. Results. The results indicate that normalized limb (male = 0.18 ± 0.07, female = 0.37 ± 0.10 kN · kg · m-1) and knee stiffness (male = 5.59 ± 2.02, female = 7.34 ± 1.78 Nm · kg · rad-1) were significantly greater in female runners. Conclusions. On the basis that normalized knee and limb stiffness were shown to be significantly greater in female runners, the findings from the current investigation may provide further insight into the aetiology of the distinct injury patterns observed between sexes.

Open access

Jonathan Sinclair, Hayley Vincent, Paul John Taylor, Jack Hebron, Howard Thomas Hurst and Stephen Atkins

Abstract

Purpose. Cycling has been shown to be associated with a high incidence of chronic pathologies. Foot orthoses are frequently used by cyclists in order to reduce the incidence of chronic injuries. The aim of the current investigation was to examine the influence of different varus orthotic inclines on the three-dimensional kinematics of the lower extremities during the pedal cycle. Methods. Kinematic information was obtained from ten male cyclists using an eight-camera optoelectronic 3-D motion capture system operating at 250 Hz. Participants cycled with and without orthotic intervention at three different cadences (70, 90 and 110 RPM). The orthotic device was adjustable and four different wedge conditions (0 mm - no orthotic, 1.5 mm, 3.0 mm and 4.5 mm) were examined. Two-way repeated measures ANOVAs were used to compare the kinematic parameters obtained as a function of orthotic inclination and cadence. Participants were also asked to subjectively rate their comfort in cycling using each of the four orthotic devices on a 10-point Likert scale. Results. The kinematic analysis indicated that the orthotic device had no significant influence at any of the three cadences. Analysis of subjective preferences showed a clear preference for the 0 mm, no orthotic, condition. Conclusions. This study suggests that foot orthoses do not provide any protection from skeletal malalignment issues associated with the aetiology of chronic cycling injuries.

Open access

Jonathan Sinclair, Paul John Taylor, Jack Hebron, Darrell Brooks, Howard Thomas Hurst and Stephen Atkins

Abstract

Electromyography (EMG) is normalized in relation to a reference maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) value. Different normalization techniques are available but the most reliable method for cycling movements is unknown. This study investigated the reliability of different normalization techniques for cycling analyses. Twenty-five male cyclists (age 24.13 ± 2.79 years, body height 176.22 ± 4.87 cm and body mass 67.23 ± 4.19 kg, BMI = 21.70 ± 2.60 kg·m−1) performed different normalization procedures on two occasions, within the same testing session. The rectus femoris, biceps femoris, gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior muscles were examined. Participants performed isometric normalizations (IMVC) using an isokinetic dynamometer. Five minutes of submaximal cycling (180 W) were also undertaken, allowing the mean (DMA) and peak (PDA) activation from each muscle to serve as reference values. Finally, a 10 s cycling sprint (MxDA) trial was undertaken and the highest activation from each muscle was used as the reference value. Differences between reference EMG amplitude, as a function of normalization technique and time, were examined using repeated measures ANOVAs. The testretest reliability of each technique was also examined using linear regression, intraclass correlations and Cronbach’s alpha. The results showed that EMG amplitude differed significantly between normalization techniques for all muscles, with the IMVC and MxDA methods demonstrating the highest amplitudes. The highest levels of reliability were observed for the PDA technique for all muscles; therefore, our results support the utilization of this method for cycling analyses.