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Biomechanics, Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2022) – 7 articles

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Article
Locomotor Adaptation Training to Prevent Mobility Disability
Biomechanics 2022, 2(3), 395-420; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics2030031 - 04 Aug 2022
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Abstract
Mobility disability is prevalent in aging populations. While existing walking interventions improve aspects related to mobility, meaningful and sustained changes leading to preventing and reversing mobility disability have remained elusive. Split-belt treadmills can be used to train gait adaptability and may be a [...] Read more.
Mobility disability is prevalent in aging populations. While existing walking interventions improve aspects related to mobility, meaningful and sustained changes leading to preventing and reversing mobility disability have remained elusive. Split-belt treadmills can be used to train gait adaptability and may be a potential long-term rehabilitation tool for those at risk for mobility decline. As adaptability is necessary for community walking, we investigated the feasibility of a small, randomized controlled 16-week gait adaptability training program in a cohort of 38 sedentary older adults at risk for mobility disability. Individuals were randomly assigned to one of three groups: traditional treadmill training, split-belt treadmill training, or no-contact control. Both treadmill interventions included progressive training 3 days a week, focusing on increasing duration and speed of walking. Cognitive, functional, cardiovascular, and gait assessments were completed before and after the intervention. While individuals were able to complete split-belt treadmill training, only Timed Up and Go performance was significantly improved compared to traditional treadmill training. As the stimulus provided by the split-belt training was difficult to control, we did not observe a clear benefit for split-belt treadmill training over traditional treadmill training. Our findings indicate a cautionary tale about the implementation of complex training interventions. Full article
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Article
Assessing Balance Loss and Stability Control in Older Adults Exposed to Gait Perturbations under Different Environmental Conditions: A Feasibility Study
Biomechanics 2022, 2(3), 374-394; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics2030030 - 29 Jul 2022
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Abstract
This study investigated the feasibility of a perturbation-based balance protocol that incorporates a novel computer-controlled movable platform, the Surefooted Trainer, to induce losses of balance during overground walking under various environmental conditions. Twenty apparently healthy older adults (66.7 ± years old) participated in [...] Read more.
This study investigated the feasibility of a perturbation-based balance protocol that incorporates a novel computer-controlled movable platform, the Surefooted Trainer, to induce losses of balance during overground walking under various environmental conditions. Twenty apparently healthy older adults (66.7 ± years old) participated in this study. The acceptability and safety of the perturbation-based balance protocol were assessed by tracking adherence, adverse events, and subjective physical and mental demands after the intervention. Additionally, biomechanical variables during perturbed and non-perturbed trials were analyzed and compared with behavioral outcomes. Overall, 95% of the participants completed the study. There were no serious or non-serious adverse events. The margin of stability and step length after perturbations were significantly lower during slip-perturbations in which the environmental conditions were more challenging. For trip-perturbation conditions, the maximum trunk angle was higher during the trials that resulted in losses of balance. We conclude that the Surefooted Trainer is an acceptable and valid device for an overground walking perturbation-based assessment and training protocol in older adults. Full article
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Article
Comparison of Measured and Observed Exercise Fidelity during a Neuromuscular Training Warm-Up
Biomechanics 2022, 2(3), 361-373; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics2030029 - 19 Jul 2022
Viewed by 357
Abstract
Neuromuscular training (NMT) warm-up programs effectively prevent injuries in youth, but monitoring exercise fidelity is challenging. The purpose of this study was to compare the exercise fidelity as measured via an inertial measurement unit (IMU) with direct observations of selected exercises. Youth basketball [...] Read more.
Neuromuscular training (NMT) warm-up programs effectively prevent injuries in youth, but monitoring exercise fidelity is challenging. The purpose of this study was to compare the exercise fidelity as measured via an inertial measurement unit (IMU) with direct observations of selected exercises. Youth basketball and soccer players performed single leg jumps, squat jumps, Nordic hamstring curls, and/or single leg balance exercises as part of an NMT warm-up. An IMU was placed on the lower back of each participant and the warm-up was video recorded. A physiotherapist evaluated the volume aspect of exercise fidelity (i.e., performing the prescribed number of repetitions) using the video recordings and a checklist. Algorithms were developed to count the number of repetitions from the IMU signal. The repetitions from the algorithms were compared with the physiotherapist’s evaluation, and accuracy, precision, and recall were calculated for each exercise. A total of 91 (39 female, 52 male) athletes performed at least one of the four warm-up exercises. There was an accuracy, precision, and recall of greater than 88% for all exercises. The single leg jump algorithm classified all sets correctly. IMUs may be used to quantify exercise volume for exercises that involve both impact during landing and changes in orientation during rotations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Sports Biomechanics)
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Article
Differences in Biomechanical Characteristics between Made and Missed Jump Shots in Male Basketball Players
Biomechanics 2022, 2(3), 352-360; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics2030028 - 17 Jul 2022
Viewed by 361
Abstract
While the importance of optimal two-point and three-point jump-shooting performance for securing the desired game outcome on various levels of basketball competition has been well documented, there is a limited amount of scientific literature on what biomechanical adjustments in shooting technique comprise the [...] Read more.
While the importance of optimal two-point and three-point jump-shooting performance for securing the desired game outcome on various levels of basketball competition has been well documented, there is a limited amount of scientific literature on what biomechanical adjustments in shooting technique comprise the success of each shooting attempt. Therefore, the purpose of the present study was to examine the difference in kinetic and kinematic characteristics during the preparatory and release phases of the shooting motion between made and missed jump shots. While standing on a force plate, twenty-nine recreationally active males with prior basketball playing experience attempted 10 two-point and 10 three-point jump shots, combining for a total of 580 attempts. Simultaneously, two high-definition cameras were used to capture kinematic characteristics of interest. Higher elbow positioning during the preparatory phase of the shooting motion, relative to the shooter’s stature, was shown to be a critical kinematic adjustment that differentiated made from missed two-point jump shots. Alongside identical observations regarding the importance of the elbow placement, keeping the torso in a more erect position during the preparatory phase of the shooting motion, having a greater release angle and vertical jump height at the timepoint of the ball release, and attaining higher maximal trajectory height were critical kinematic adjustments that differentiated made from missed three-point jump shots. Full article
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Article
Can Slight Variations to Lateral Wedge Insoles Induce Significant Biomechanical Changes in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis?
Biomechanics 2022, 2(3), 342-351; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics2030027 - 16 Jul 2022
Viewed by 268
Abstract
Lateral wedge insoles are recommended in order to minimize the impacts of osteoarthritis of the knee. The amount of wedging required to induce a biomechanical response with clinical significance is still controversial. This study aimed to investigate the immediate biomechanical effects of different [...] Read more.
Lateral wedge insoles are recommended in order to minimize the impacts of osteoarthritis of the knee. The amount of wedging required to induce a biomechanical response with clinical significance is still controversial. This study aimed to investigate the immediate biomechanical effects of different amounts of wedging in symptomatic medial knee OA. A 3D motion capture system and five force platforms were used to acquire walking kinematic and kinetic data along a 10 m walkway. Each participant was tested for six different lateral wedge insoles (0, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10°) in a randomized order. Thirty-eight patients with medial osteoarthritis of the knee were recruited. The application of insoles resulted in an incremental reduction of the first peak of the external knee adduction moment under all experimental conditions in comparison with the control condition (0° insole). A significant increase (p < 0.05) was observed in peak ankle eversion and in ankle eversion at the first peak of the external knee adduction moment with insoles higher than 8° and 6°, respectively. Slight variations to lateral wedge insoles, greater than 2°, appear to induce significant biomechanical changes in patients with knee osteoarthritis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Movement Analysis)
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Article
Cyclograms Reveal Alteration of Inter-Joint Coordination during Gait in People with Multiple Sclerosis Minimally Disabled
Biomechanics 2022, 2(3), 331-341; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics2030026 - 13 Jul 2022
Viewed by 301
Abstract
Subtle alterations of gait patterns in people with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS) with minimal or no disability often coexist with normal spatio-temporal parameters. Here, we retrospectively investigate the existence of possible anomalies in lower limb inter-joint coordination (i.e., the functional relationship between joint pairs) [...] Read more.
Subtle alterations of gait patterns in people with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS) with minimal or no disability often coexist with normal spatio-temporal parameters. Here, we retrospectively investigate the existence of possible anomalies in lower limb inter-joint coordination (i.e., the functional relationship between joint pairs) in pwMS with apparently physiologic gait features. Twenty-seven pwMS with Expanded Disability Status Scale scores ≤ 2, and 27 unaffected age-and-sex-matched individuals, were tested using 3D computerized gait analysis. Raw data were processed to extract the main spatio-temporal parameters and the kinematics in the sagittal plane at the hip, knee, and ankle joints. Angle-angle diagrams (cyclograms) were obtained by coupling the flexion-extension values for the hip-knee and knee-ankle joint pairs at each point of the gait cycle. Cyclogram area, perimeter, and dimensionless ratio were employed to quantify inter-joint coordination. The results demonstrate that cyclograms of pwMS are characterized by significantly reduced perimeters for both investigated joint pairs and reduced area at the hip–knee joint pair. In the latter pair, the differences between groups involved the entire swing phase. For the knee-ankle pair, the average cyclogram of pwMS departed from normality from the late stance until the mid-swing phase. Such findings suggest that inter-joint coordination is impaired even in minimally disabled pwMS who exhibit a normal gait pattern in terms of spatio-temporal parameters. The quantitative and qualitative study of cyclogram features may provide information that is useful for better understanding the underlying mechanisms of walking dysfunctions in MS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Human Movement Analysis)
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Article
Effect of Additional Loads on Joint Kinetics and Joint Work Contribution in Males and Females Performing Vertical Countermovement Jumps
Biomechanics 2022, 2(3), 319-330; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics2030025 - 08 Jul 2022
Viewed by 285
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate the effect of additional loads and sex on countermovement jump (CMJ) joint kinetics during the entire take-off impulse in males and females. Twelve female and 13 male sport students performed vertical countermovement jumps without and with additional loads [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate the effect of additional loads and sex on countermovement jump (CMJ) joint kinetics during the entire take-off impulse in males and females. Twelve female and 13 male sport students performed vertical countermovement jumps without and with additional loads up to +80% of body mass using a straight barbell. Ground reaction forces and body kinematics were collected simultaneously. A significant increase was found for peak ankle power, whereas knee and hip peak power decreased significantly as additional load increased in both males and females. Joint work increased in each joint as additional load increased, although significance was observed only in the hip joint. Peak power of each joint (22–47%) and total hip work (61%) were significantly higher for males than females. Relative joint contributions to total joint work (“joint work contribution”) remained stable as additional loads increased, whereas meaningful differences were found in the magnitudes of joint work contribution between males and females. CMJ joint kinetics and joint work contributions were distinctly influenced by additional load and sex. Hence, these differences should be considered when prescribing loaded jumps for training or testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Biomechanics)
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