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Biomechanics, Volume 3, Issue 3 (September 2023) – 12 articles

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18 pages, 2931 KiB  
Article
Joint Moment Responses to Different Modes of Augmented Visual Feedback of Joint Kinematics during Two-Legged Squat Training
by Raviraj Nataraj, Sean Patrick Sanford and Mingxiao Liu
Biomechanics 2023, 3(3), 425-442; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics3030035 - 7 Sep 2023
Viewed by 1349
Abstract
This study examined the effects of different modes of augmented visual feedback of joint kinematics on the emerging joint moment patterns during the two-legged squat maneuver. Training with augmented visual feedback supports improved kinematic performance of maneuvers related to sports or daily activities. [...] Read more.
This study examined the effects of different modes of augmented visual feedback of joint kinematics on the emerging joint moment patterns during the two-legged squat maneuver. Training with augmented visual feedback supports improved kinematic performance of maneuvers related to sports or daily activities. Despite being representative of intrinsic motor actions, joint moments are not traditionally evaluated with kinematic feedback training. Furthermore, stabilizing joint moment patterns with physical training is beneficial to rehabilitating joint-level function (e.g., targeted strengthening and conditioning of muscles articulating that joint). Participants were presented with different modes of augmented visual feedback to track a target squat-motion trajectory. The feedback modes varied along features of complexity (i.e., number of segment trajectories shown) and body representation (i.e., trajectories shown as sinusoids versus dynamic stick-figure avatars). Our results indicated that mean values and variability (trial-to-trial standard deviations) of joint moments are significantly (p < 0.05) altered depending on the visual feedback features being applied, the specific joint (ankle, knee, hip), and the squat movement phase (early, middle, or late time window). This study should incentivize more optimal delivery of visual guidance during rehabilitative training with computerized interfaces (e.g., virtual reality). Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Locomotion Biomechanics and Motor Control)
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10 pages, 2390 KiB  
Article
Performance, Perceptual and Reaction Skills and Neuromuscular Control Indicators of High-Level Karate Athletes in the Execution of the Gyaku Tsuki Punch
by Márcio Fagundes Goethel, João Paulo Vilas-Boas, Leandro Machado, Ulysses Fernandes Ervilha, Pedro Vieira Sarmet Moreira, Antonio Roberto Bendilatti, Joseph Hamill, Adalgiso Coscrato Cardozo and Mauro Gonçalves
Biomechanics 2023, 3(3), 415-424; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics3030034 - 4 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1084
Abstract
This study aimed to investigate and compare the performance, perceptual and reaction skills and neuromuscular control indicators of sub-elite (SEG) and elite (EG) karate athletes during the execution of a Gyaku Tsuki punch. The study included 14 male athletes, equally divided into two [...] Read more.
This study aimed to investigate and compare the performance, perceptual and reaction skills and neuromuscular control indicators of sub-elite (SEG) and elite (EG) karate athletes during the execution of a Gyaku Tsuki punch. The study included 14 male athletes, equally divided into two subgroups according to their current competitive level. We analyzed the peak and mean linear velocity of the wrist, linear peak acceleration/deceleration of the wrist, braking time, pre-motor time, motor time, reaction time, movement time and co-contraction index between selected muscle groups. EG athletes presented higher values in almost all performance variables, with the exception of the mean linear velocity of the wrist, which was similar between the groups. In the perceptual and reaction skills, the EG athletes presented shorter time durations with the exception of the pre-motor time, which did not reveal significant differences. The only significant difference in the indicators of neuromuscular control were found during the deceleration phase, where the EG athletes presented a higher co-contraction index between the biceps brachii and the triceps brachii. In conclusion, the EG athletes, in addition to being faster to react, faster to accelerate the wrist, could perform the braking in less time than the SEG athletes, making the technique less perceptible to the opponent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Locomotion Biomechanics and Motor Control)
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14 pages, 5038 KiB  
Article
Employing Robotics for the Biomechanical Validation of a Prosthetic Flipper for Sea Turtles as a Substitute for Animal Clinical Trials
by Nick van der Geest and Lorenzo Garcia
Biomechanics 2023, 3(3), 401-414; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics3030033 - 4 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2120
Abstract
Sea turtles are a keystone species for the ocean’s ecosystem, with all species currently being listed as endangered. Such a threat is mainly due to human factors such as fishing net entanglement. This entanglement often comes at the expense of turtles losing a [...] Read more.
Sea turtles are a keystone species for the ocean’s ecosystem, with all species currently being listed as endangered. Such a threat is mainly due to human factors such as fishing net entanglement. This entanglement often comes at the expense of turtles losing a pectoral flipper. The reduction in a sea turtle’s survival odds upon losing a flipper is a significant concern. This issue extends beyond individual animals, as the potential extinction of sea turtles could have detrimental effects on ocean health and subsequently disrupt our lifestyles. In this work, with the help of robotics, we tested the suitability of a prosthetic flipper for sea turtles that have lost a flipper. Testing with our sea-turtle-inspired robot helped to demonstrate the prosthetic flipper’s performance without clinical trials in live animals. The robot showed that the prosthetic could closely mimic the sea turtle’s downstroke and upstroke, allowing the animal to regain control in roll, pitch, and yaw, despite the absence of anatomical joints and related muscles. Additionally, swim speed tests provided an average swim speed of 0.487 m/s while dragging 6 m of cable to give a calculated maximum swim speed of 0.618 m/s, coming close to the average swim speed of wild sea turtles of 0.6 m/s. Our aspiration is that the findings from this study will pave the way for an open-source implant design, empowering veterinary professionals globally to aid injured turtles. Furthermore, this research promises to inspire additional animal-based robotic designs, advancing technologies geared towards assisting other animals in distress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Injury Biomechanics and Rehabilitation)
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12 pages, 343 KiB  
Article
Long Jump Performance Is Not Related to Inter-Limb Asymmetry in Force Application in Isometric and Vertical Jump Tests
by Vasiliki Chaitidou and Vassilios Panoutsakopoulos
Biomechanics 2023, 3(3), 389-400; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics3030032 - 1 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2074
Abstract
The aim of the study was to examine the inter-limb asymmetry in force application in a 1-s maximum isometric leg press test (ISOM) and vertical jump tests without an arm swing (VJ)of male long jumpers. Nine experienced jumpers (age: 18–30 y, LJ personal [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to examine the inter-limb asymmetry in force application in a 1-s maximum isometric leg press test (ISOM) and vertical jump tests without an arm swing (VJ)of male long jumpers. Nine experienced jumpers (age: 18–30 y, LJ personal best: 6.50–8.05 m) were examined. Participants performed: (a) bilateral VJs from the squatting position (SQJ) and with a countermovement (CMJ), (b) unilateral CMJ from the take-off (TOL) and swing (SWL) leg used in the LJ take-off, and c) bilateral 1-s ISOM tests. Data were collected for each lower limb with separate force dynamometers (sampling frequency: VJs = 1 kHz, ISOM = 500 Hz). The inter-limb asymmetry of the peak applied force was evaluated using the symmetry angle. The paired samples T-test revealed non-significant (p > 0.05) inter-limb differences for the force output in the bilateral jump tests, in the unilateral jump tests, and in the ISOM. In conclusion, despite the fact that a powerful unilateral take-off is required for the optimization of long jump performance, no asymmetry was found in the examined tests, suggesting that the dominant/take-off leg was not stronger than the contra-lateral leg. This is possibly due to the intensive execution of other bilateral tasks involved, like the approach run. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Locomotion Biomechanics and Motor Control)
12 pages, 2630 KiB  
Article
Relationship between Body Center of Mass Velocity and Lower Limb Joint Angles during Advance Lunge in Skilled Male University Fencers
by Kenta Chida, Takayuki Inami, Shota Yamaguchi, Yasumasa Yoshida and Naohiko Kohtake
Biomechanics 2023, 3(3), 377-388; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics3030031 - 18 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1185
Abstract
We investigated the influence of advance lunging in fencing from the perspective of velocity and lower limb joint angles to identify how the joint angles contribute to the peak velocity in a lunge with advance (LWA). Fourteen skilled athletes (age: 19.6 ± 0.9 [...] Read more.
We investigated the influence of advance lunging in fencing from the perspective of velocity and lower limb joint angles to identify how the joint angles contribute to the peak velocity in a lunge with advance (LWA). Fourteen skilled athletes (age: 19.6 ± 0.9 years, height: 171.2 cm ± 5.2 cm, weight: 63.7 kg ± 5.3 kg, and fencing experience: 9.7 ± 3.1 years) participated by performing two types of attacking movements, and data were collected with a 3D movement analysis system. A correlation between the peak velocity of the body center of mass (CoM) in an advance lunge and several joint angle variables (rear hip peak flexion angle (r = 0.63), rear ankle peak dorsiflexion angle (r = −0.66), rear ankle range of motion (r = −0.59), and front hip peak extension angle (r = 0.54)) was revealed. In addition, the joint angle variables that significantly predicted peak CoM velocity during an LWA were the rear knee peak flexion angle (β = 0.542), rear knee peak extension angle (β = −0.537), and front knee peak extension angle (β = −0.460). Our findings suggest that the rear leg hip joint, rear leg ankle joint, and front leg hip joint may control the acceleration generated by an LWA. Furthermore, more flexion of the rear leg knee joint in the early phase of the lunge and greater extension of the rear and front leg knee joints at the end of the lunge phase may help increase peak velocity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personalized Biomechanics and Orthopedics of the Lower Extremity)
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15 pages, 1440 KiB  
Review
Shoulder Pain Biomechanics, Rehabilitation and Prevention in Wheelchair Basketball Players: A Narrative Review
by Giacomo Farì, Francesca Latino, Francesco Tafuri, Laura Dell’Anna, Maria Vittoria Raele, Annatonia Fai, Carlo De Serio, Giorgia Intonti, Anna Lisa De Salvo, Vincenzo Ricci, Emma Saraiello, Valerio Bonavolontà, Andrea Bernetti, Silvia Fiore, Marisa Megna and Maurizio Ranieri
Biomechanics 2023, 3(3), 362-376; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics3030030 - 10 Aug 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2873
Abstract
Wheelchair basketball (WB) is an increasingly popular sport that guarantees numerous health benefits for people with disabilities who regularly practice it, such as an improved quality of life and psychophysical well-being. However, WB is a contact and high-stress sport, which exposes players to [...] Read more.
Wheelchair basketball (WB) is an increasingly popular sport that guarantees numerous health benefits for people with disabilities who regularly practice it, such as an improved quality of life and psychophysical well-being. However, WB is a contact and high-stress sport, which exposes players to frequent overloads and injuries, mainly affecting the upper limbs. Therefore, shoulder pain (SP) is the most common musculoskeletal disorder among WB players, forcing them to suspend or abandon this sport activity. This narrative review aims to summarize all the known literature on this topic and to be a starting point for further research. Firstly, it explores the biomechanical causes that lead to SP and the underlying diseases, among which the most recurrent are rotator cuff tendinopathies. Furthermore, this overview deepens the most effective and specific rehabilitation programs for SP in WB players and it emphasizes the need for further studies to trial new rehabilitative protocols using novel technologies to make them faster and more personalized. In this regard, the general recommendation still remains to perform a combination of exercises such as strengthening, endurance and stretching exercises of various durations and intensities. To conclude, the most important prevention strategies are described, underlining the need for constant sport-specific training led by qualified personnel and suggesting some insights on possible new research aimed at improving wheelchair ergonomics, stressing the importance of a multidisciplinary team fully dedicated to the individual athlete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sport Injuries)
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19 pages, 4850 KiB  
Article
The Development of a Standardized Protocol for Quantifying Equestrian Eventing Cross-Country Ground
by Robert Graydon, Alison J. Northrop, Jaime H. Martin, Mark Lucey, Johannes Peter Schramel, Christian Peham, Lars Roepstorff, Jonathan Sinclair and Sarah Jane Hobbs
Biomechanics 2023, 3(3), 343-361; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics3030029 - 7 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1534
Abstract
The ground has long been cited as a key contributing factor for injury risk in the cross-country phase of eventing. The current study aimed to develop a practically useful standardized protocol for measuring eventing cross country ground. Data collection was split into three [...] Read more.
The ground has long been cited as a key contributing factor for injury risk in the cross-country phase of eventing. The current study aimed to develop a practically useful standardized protocol for measuring eventing cross country ground. Data collection was split into three phases: Phase 1 (Validation), Phase 2 (Expansion of data set), and Phase 3 (Threshold establishment). During Phase 1, data from nine event courses were collected using an Orono Biomechanical Surface Tester (OBST), Vienna Surface Tester (VST), Lang Penetrometer, Going Stick, and moisture meter. Using linear regression, 80% of the variability in cushioning measured with the OBST was predicted from moisture and VST measurements (p < 0.001). In Phase 2, objective data from 81 event courses and subjective assessments from 180 event riders were collected. In Phase 3, k-means cluster analysis was used to classify the courses into ten clusters based on average course measurements of moisture, cushioning, firmness, stiffness, depth, and coefficient of restitution. Based on cluster membership, course average subjective data (16 courses) were compared using a General Linear Model. Significant differences (p < 0.05) in subjective impact firmness (p = 0.038) and subjective cushioning (p = 0.010) were found between clusters. These data and cluster thresholds provide an event course baseline for future comparisons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sensing-Based Animal Biomechanics)
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21 pages, 1562 KiB  
Review
Stem Cell Scaffolds for the Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury—A Review
by Grace Hey, Matthew Willman, Aashay Patel, Michael Goutnik, Jonathan Willman and Brandon Lucke-Wold
Biomechanics 2023, 3(3), 322-342; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics3030028 - 1 Aug 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1833
Abstract
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a profoundly debilitating yet common central nervous system condition resulting in significant morbidity and mortality rates. Major causes of SCI encompass traumatic incidences such as motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports injuries. Present treatment strategies for SCI aim [...] Read more.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a profoundly debilitating yet common central nervous system condition resulting in significant morbidity and mortality rates. Major causes of SCI encompass traumatic incidences such as motor vehicle accidents, falls, and sports injuries. Present treatment strategies for SCI aim to improve and enhance neurologic functionality. The ability for neural stem cells (NSCs) to differentiate into diverse neural and glial cell precursors has stimulated the investigation of stem cell scaffolds as potential therapeutics for SCI. Various scaffolding modalities including composite materials, natural polymers, synthetic polymers, and hydrogels have been explored. However, most trials remain largely in the preclinical stage, emphasizing the need to further develop and refine these treatment strategies before clinical implementation. In this review, we delve into the physiological processes that underpin NSC differentiation, including substrates and signaling pathways required for axonal regrowth post-injury, and provide an overview of current and emerging stem cell scaffolding platforms for SCI. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Neuromechanics)
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12 pages, 917 KiB  
Article
Fatigue Effects on Peak Plantar Pressure and Bilateral Symmetry during Gait at Various Speeds
by Jeffrey Buxton, Kelly J. Shields, Holyna Nhean, Jared Ramsey, Christopher Adams and George A. Richards
Biomechanics 2023, 3(3), 310-321; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics3030027 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1040
Abstract
Fatigue-related changes in gait biomechanics, specifically plantar pressures, are well documented in the general population. However, research is generally confined to unilateral measures across a limited range of speeds, while changes in more well-trained populations remain largely unknown. Therefore, we sought to assess [...] Read more.
Fatigue-related changes in gait biomechanics, specifically plantar pressures, are well documented in the general population. However, research is generally confined to unilateral measures across a limited range of speeds, while changes in more well-trained populations remain largely unknown. Therefore, we sought to assess the impact of fatigue on bilateral peak plantar pressure (PP) and plantar pressure symmetry angle (SA) in well-trained runners across a range of speeds. Data from 16 (females, n = 9) well-trained runners were collected using in-sole pressure sensors pre- and post-fatigue at the following speeds: walking (1.3 m/s), jogging (2.7 m/s), running (3.3 m/s), and sprinting (4.5 m/s). Pre-fatigue PP significantly increased from walking to jogging (p < 0.001) and from jogging to running (p < 0.005) with no difference between running and sprinting (p > 0.05). Post-fatigue PP for walking was less than jogging (p < 0.002), running (p < 0.001), and sprinting (p < 0.001), with no other significant differences (p > 0.05). Post-fatigue PP was significantly greater when compared to pre-fatigue PP at all speeds (p < 0.001 for all). Though SA was not significantly different pre- to post-fatigue across speeds (p’s > 0.05) at the cohort level, noteworthy changes were observed at the individual level. Overall, fatigue effects are present at all running speeds but isolating these effects to a single side (left or right) may be inadequate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Gait and Posture Biomechanics)
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11 pages, 1094 KiB  
Article
Horizontal Deceleration Performance in Professional Female Handball Players
by Nicolas M. Philipp, Dimitrije Cabarkapa, Kennedy M. Marten, Damjana V. Cabarkapa, Dragan M. Mirkov, Olivera M. Knezevic, Jelena Aleksic, Lucija Faj and Andrew C. Fry
Biomechanics 2023, 3(3), 299-309; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics3030026 - 19 Jul 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1417
Abstract
Given the multidirectional nature of the sport, handball athletes must frequently perform high-intensity decelerations to avoid defenders, generate space, or perform directional changes. The aim of the present study was twofold: (i) to investigate different kinematic measures of horizontal deceleration performance by comparing [...] Read more.
Given the multidirectional nature of the sport, handball athletes must frequently perform high-intensity decelerations to avoid defenders, generate space, or perform directional changes. The aim of the present study was twofold: (i) to investigate different kinematic measures of horizontal deceleration performance by comparing the acceleration-deceleration assessment (ADA) with the 5-0-5 test and (ii) to investigate relationships between force-time characteristics derived from the countermovement vertical jump (CVJ) and measures of horizontal deceleration performance. Eleven female handball players competing in the first-tier professional league in Europe performed three CVJs while standing on a uni-axial force plate system sampling at 1000 Hz, followed by two ADAs (i.e., maximal-effort acceleration over a 10 m distance, followed by rapid deceleration) and 5-0-5 test trials. Tripod-mounted radar sampling at 47 Hz, placed 5 m behind the start line, was used to record horizontal velocity data. Each test was separated by a 5–7 min rest interval to minimize the influence of fatigue. No statistically significant differences were found in horizontal deceleration performance parameters between ADA and the 5-0-5 test. However, athletes with a higher CVJ height and reactive strength index-modified showed better performance in terms of horizontal deceleration measures such as maximal approach velocity and average and maximal deceleration. Overall, these results may be of interest to practitioners working with multidirectional sport athletes such as handball players as they provide critical insight for the selection of assessments and training strategies targeted toward optimizing on-court athlete performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Locomotion Biomechanics and Motor Control)
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8 pages, 560 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Bodyweight, Maximum and Relative Strength, and Power Variables during Flywheel Inertial Training
by Joey O. Brien, Declan Browne, Des Earls and Clare Lodge
Biomechanics 2023, 3(3), 291-298; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics3030025 - 17 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1118
Abstract
The main aim of this study was to examine the relationship between body weight, absolute and relative strength and power variables in a flywheel Romanian deadlift. A secondary aim was to assess the inter-day reliability of a novel power assessment protocol previously used [...] Read more.
The main aim of this study was to examine the relationship between body weight, absolute and relative strength and power variables in a flywheel Romanian deadlift. A secondary aim was to assess the inter-day reliability of a novel power assessment protocol previously used to determine the inertial load that produced the maximum power output in Flywheel Inertia Training. Ten physically active males took part in this study. Participants had some experience with flywheel devices, but all had a minimum of 24 months of traditional resistance training experience. The first testing session consisted of three sets of 10 repetitions with a different inertial load for each set (0.050, 0.075, and 1.00 kg·m2). Each set’s first and second repetitions were used to build momentum and were excluded from data analysis. The order of inertial load used in each trial was standardized for all participants: first, 0.050 kg·m2, second, 0.075 kg·m2, and last, 0.100 kg·m2. The secondary testing session followed the same procedure as the first. No statistically significant (p < 0.05) effect was found between any of the variables in the correlation analysis. There were large positive correlations between the 1 repetition max flywheel Romanian deadlift and peak concentric power, relative strength, and peak concentric and eccentric peak powers. Both body weight and relative strength showed moderate negative correlations with % eccentric overload, whereas moderate positive correlations were observed between 1RM and peak eccentric power. Both concentric power and eccentric power showed excellent reliability, while the reliability for % eccentric overload ranged from poor to excellent depending on the inertial load. In conclusion, this study shows that a protocol to assess the maximum power output has excellent reliability for both ECC and CON power and may be used in future flywheel training. The results also showed that body weight, maximum strength, and relative strength were not largely related to power variables. An individualized approach to flywheel training is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Locomotion Biomechanics and Motor Control)
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13 pages, 2204 KiB  
Article
An Automated Approach to Instrumenting the Up-on-the-Toes Test(s)
by Sarah Aruje Zahid, Yunus Celik, Alan Godfrey and John G. Buckley
Biomechanics 2023, 3(3), 278-290; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomechanics3030024 - 26 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1160
Abstract
Normal ankle function provides a key contribution to everyday activities, particularly step/stair ascent and descent, where many falls occur. The rising to up-on-the-toes (UTT) 30 second test (UTT-30) is used in the clinical assessment of ankle muscle strength/function and endurance and is typically [...] Read more.
Normal ankle function provides a key contribution to everyday activities, particularly step/stair ascent and descent, where many falls occur. The rising to up-on-the-toes (UTT) 30 second test (UTT-30) is used in the clinical assessment of ankle muscle strength/function and endurance and is typically assessed by an observer counting the UTT movement completed. The aims of this study are: (i) to determine whether inertial measurement units (IMUs) provide valid assessment of the UTT-30 by comparing IMU-derived metrics with those from a force-platform (FP), and (ii) to describe how IMUs can be used to provide valid assessment of the movement dynamics/stability when performing a single UTT movement that is held for 5 s (UTT-stand). Twenty adults (26.2 ± 7.7 years) performed a UTT-30 and a UTT-stand on a force-platform with IMUs attached to each foot and the lumbar spine. We evaluate the agreement/association between IMU measures and measures determined from the FP. For UTT-30, IMU analysis of peaks in plantarflexion velocity and in FP’s centre of pressure (CoP) velocity was used to identify each repeated UTT movement and provided an objective means to discount any UTT movements that were not completed ‘fully’. UTT movements that were deemed to have not been completed ‘fully’ were those that yielded peak plantarflexion and CoP velocity values during the period of rising to up-on-the-toes that were below 1 SD of each participant’s mean peak rising velocity across their repeated UTT. The number of UTT movements detected by the IMU approach (23.5) agreed with the number determined by the FP (23.6), and each approach determined the same number of ‘fully’ completed movements (IMU, 19.9; FP, 19.7). For UTT-stand, IMU-derived movement dynamics/postural stability were moderately-to-strongly correlated with measures derived from the FP. Our findings highlight that the use of IMUs can provide valid assessment of UTT test(s). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Inertial Sensor Assessment of Human Movement)
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